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Kremlin Says No Success in Freeing Russian Hostages From Hamas

Flowers in front of the Israeli Embassy in Moscow. Moskva News Agency

The Kremlin said Tuesday that it has so far been unsuccessful in freeing Russian hostages held by Hamas and still does not know how many of its citizens had been captured since the militant group's attack on Israel earlier this month. 

"Indeed, we have not succeeded so far, but we will continue," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked about Moscow's efforts to secure the release of its citizens.

"We don't have exact information about how and when they can be returned at the moment," Peskov added.

He said Moscow would continue working with "all sides" involved in the conflict, including both Israel and Hamas, as it seeks to secure the release of Russian citizens.  

Russia's ambassador to Israel, Anatoly Viktorov, told state media last week that there were at least two hostages who had dual Russian and Israeli citizenship, but said the number could be bigger.

Russia has not declared Hamas a terrorist group and has repeatedly called for the creation of a Palestinian state as a long-term solution to the conflict.

Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7. 

More than 5,700 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed across the Gaza Strip in relentless Israeli bombardments in retaliation for the attacks, according to the latest toll from the Hamas health ministry in Gaza.

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