Putin claims Zelensky was put in office by the West to 'cover up glorification of Nazism'

The Russian president launched an attack on the Ukraine leaders Jewish heritage


Vladimir Putin has attacked Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky's Jewish heritage by suggesting the West put him in office to “cover up the glorification of Nazism” in Ukraine.

Putin told Russian state TV on Tuesday: “Western curators have put a person at the head of modern Ukraine - an ethnic Jew, with Jewish roots, with Jewish origins.

The Russian president made the controversial comments in an attempt to justify his invasion of Ukraine last February.

“And thus, in my opinion, they seem to be covering up an anti-human essence that is the foundation... of the modern Ukrainian state.

“And this makes the whole situation extremely disgusting, in that an ethnic Jew is covering up the glorification of Nazism and covering up those who led the Holocaust in Ukraine at one time - and this is the extermination of one and a half million people.”

Hitting back at the latest comments, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Putin himself was "disgusting when he tries to justify mass crimes against citizens of another country with a monstrous lie."

Zelensky's faith has been a recurring theme throughout the conflict, with Kremlin officials claiming their 'Special Operation' in Ukraine was part of a push to 'De-Nazify' the country from its Jewish leaders.

The Russian president claimed Ukraine’s leaders pursued neo-Nazi 'genocide' against hundreds of thousands of native Russian speakers.

But some of the world's leading historians of Nazism and the Holocaust said Putin’s claims were baseless.

They said in February last year prior to the invasion starting: “We strongly reject the Russian government's ... equation of the Ukrainian state with the Nazi regime to justify its unprovoked aggression.

“This rhetoric is factually wrong, morally repugnant and deeply offensive to the memory of millions of victims of Nazism and those who courageously fought against it.”

In June, Putin claimed none of his own Jewish friends consider Zelensky one of the tribe.

Speaking in St Petersburg, he added: “I have a lot of Jewish friends. They say that Zelensky is not Jewish, that he is a disgrace to the Jewish people.

“This is not a joke and not an attempt at irony, because today neo-Nazis, Hitler’s disciples, have been put on a pedestal as heroes of Ukraine.”

Last year, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Zelensky's faith did not stop him from being a Nazi.

He told an Italian broadcaster: “So what if Zelensky is Jewish? The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood.”

In a 2020 interview with the Times of Israel, Zelensky said he grew up in an “ordinary Soviet Jewish family,” which was to say, not very religious, since “religion didn’t exist in the Soviet state as such.”

When running for the Ukrainian presidency in 2019, Zelensky said: “The fact that I am a Jew is about the 20th question among my characteristics.”

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