About 1,000 Russians and their families have asked the Russian government for help in evacuating from the embattled Gaza Strip, according to a press release from Russia's Foreign Ministry on Oct. 17.
The statement characterized the 1,000 Russians and their families as "de-facto hostages of Gaza's military blockade." It also criticized the "Western troika" of the U.S., U.K., France, and other countries for blocking a Russian version of a ceasefire resolution proposed at the United Nations.
The version proposed by Russia did not acknowledge Hamas' attack on Israel or Israel's right to self-defense, prompting U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Security Council Linda Thomas-Greenfield to vote against it.
As the U.S. is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, her vote meant the Russian version of the resolution was vetoed.
Russia's Oct. 17 press release details the thousands of deaths caused so far by the fighting but does not attribute them to either the Israeli military or Hamas.
The release also emphasizes that Russia has consistently "sought to highlight the humanitarian considerations, international norms, and the fundamental factors explaining why the Palestinian issue has not been resolved," but fails to address how or if the Russian government will help its citizens evacuate from Gaza.
Russian state media on Oct. 16 reported that 16 Russians had been killed since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.
An unknown number of foreigners, including hundreds of Ukrainians, are stuck in Gaza and unable to evacuate via the Rafah border crossing into Egypt. At the time of this publication, the crossing still appears to be closed.