On Vladimir Putin's 71st birthday, a brutal attack by Hamas on Israel occurred, which experts suggest serves as a "welcome birthday gift" for the Russian leader.
According to Jammie Dettner and Christian Oliver, editors at Politico, the chaos in the Middle East likely diverts Western attention away from Ukraine, aligning with Putin's strategic goals.
A diversion for the West?
The attack on Israel could potentially split Western focus, especially given the U.S.'s natural inclination to concentrate on Israel, says an unnamed EU diplomat.
This comes as the Kremlin's propagandists are already spreading the narrative that a war in the Middle East is a win for Russia and that funding for Ukraine will dry up.
In Ukraine, there's growing concern that Western support may wane in the wake of the Hamas attack. Key figures within the U.S. Republican Party, such as Senator Josh Hawley, are calling for American support to be redirected. "Israel faces an existential threat. All funding for Ukraine should be redirected to Israel immediately," Hawley stated on social media.
The White House has refuted claims that the U.S.'s strong ties with Israel will affect its current support for Ukraine. Julianne Smith, the U.S. NATO Ambassador, assured that the U.S. will manage its partnership and commitment to Israel's security while continuing to support Ukraine in their defense of their territory.
The unfolding situation raises questions about the geopolitical chess game Putin might be playing, leveraging conflicts to divert attention and resources away from areas like Ukraine.