A delegation of the militant group Hamas, which governs Gaza, arrived in Moscow on Oct. 26, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said without elaborating on the visit details.
Hamas also reported on the visit via their official Telegram channel, saying that the delegation is headed by the group's senior political member, Moussa Abu Marzouk.
The delegation reportedly met with Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and President's Special Representative for the Middle East, discussing the Israel-Gaza ongoing war.
Hamas' representatives "praised the position of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the efforts of active Russian diplomacy, and stressed the need for the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards the crime of genocide committed by the Zionist government," according to the group's message.
The fighting in Israel and the Gaza Strip broke out following Hamas' attack on Israeli settlements on Oct. 7. Tel Aviv responded by retaliatory airstrikes against Gaza and a total blockade of the enclave. Thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed on both sides.
While Ukraine has expressed full solidarity with Israel in the wake of Hamas' attack, Putin has been critical of Israel's conduct in the conflict. His criticism of civilian causalities in the Gaza war contrasts with the violence unleashed by Moscow against Ukraine in the full-scale invasion, which has already cost thousands of military and civilian lives.
There has been considerable speculation about Russia's involvement in the Hamas attack on Israel but little concrete evidence.
Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov noted that Hamas' advanced drone tactics, similar to those used by Russian forces in Ukraine, indicate that Moscow may have been involved in the training of Palestinian fighters.
The intelligence agency also said that Russia has transferred Western-made weapons captured in Ukraine to Hamas in an effort to discredit Kyiv.