Hamas deputy leader to hold discussions in Moscow as Russia seeks release of hostages

Hamas' Deputy Head of the Political Bureau, Musa Abu Marzouk, is scheduled to arrive in Moscow tomorrow, June 24, for talks, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

"Abu Marzouk will arrive in Moscow on Monday," an informed source told the agency.

According to the source, Marzouk has meetings lined up at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During his previous visit to the Russian capital on March 1, Abu Marzouk met with the Russian President's Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. As reported by the Russian press, the meeting emphasised "the necessity of promptly releasing civilians captured and held hostage in Gaza, including three Russian citizens - Alexander Trufanov, Andrei Kozlov, and Alexander Lobanov."

However, Trufanov and Lobanov remain hostages, while Kozlov was freed by Israeli special forces during an operation in Nuseirat on June 8, 2024. Following his release, Kozlov's parents recounted the torment he endured while in Hamas captivity .

On June 12, Hamas leadership promised the Russian Foreign Ministry to release two Israeli hostages with Russian citizenship who are still held in Gaza.

"We have two remaining hostages who are Russian citizens. We have been very active and vigorous in raising these issues with Hamas, urging them to release the Russian citizens outside the context of any broader deal. They have always promised and confirmed their readiness to do so, but a cessation of hostilities is physically necessary, even if temporary, to facilitate their transfer to the International Committee of the Red Cross," stated Bogdanov.

Hamas leadership has repeatedly thanked Russian officials for their support of the "Palestinian resistance." In March, the head of Hamas' Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, sent a congratulatory message to Vladimir Putin on his electoral victory. The congratulatory note expressed Hamas' hopes for "strengthening friendship ties and developing cooperation" with Russia.

Nevertheless, Hamas leadership has so far failed or refused to satisfy the Kremlin's request to release the Russian citizens held captive by terrorists in Gaza.

  Hamas, Russia