May 27, 2022

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Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday that just because Ukraine’s president is genetically Jewish does not negate the Kremlin’s stance that it invaded Ukraine to “denazify” the country. He added that even Hitler “had Jewish blood.”

During an interview with Italian media outlet Zona Bianca, Lavrov was challenged on how Russian President Vladimir Putin could claim that he’s attempting to “denazify” Ukraine when Volodymyr Zelensky, the country’s president, is Jewish.

“So what if Zelensky is Jewish. The fact does not cancel out the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood,” Lavrov noted. He added that “some of the worst antisemites are Jews.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at opening a global forum on partnerships between governments and businesses to counter terrorism as part of the Group of Eight (G8) summit, July 15-17, 2006. Credit: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office via Wikimedia Commons.

Although Zelensky is genetically Jewish, he married a gentile, baptized both of his kids, and publicly stated that “Christ has risen.”

When discussing the invasion, Putin ensured to classify it as a “special military operation” whose aim was the “denazification” of Ukraine. The Russian press has repeatedly portrayed Ukraine as being aligned with Nazism.

The most prominent military force, the Azov battalion, has been incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard. The battalion is infamous for emulating Nazis and can be seen with the Nazi Sonnenschein insignia on their uniform. The Azovs are known to harass Jews and Muslims in Eastern Ukraine, and they are considered to be leading the charge against Russia in Eastern Ukraine. The Azov battalion executed a Jewish Israeli trying to flee Ukraine for Moldova in February.

Lavrov said that the ball was still in Zelensky’s court to end the war if he “quit giving criminal orders to his Nazi forces.”

Lavrov’s comments followed Zelensky’s meeting with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Kyiv. He said that the meeting was a powerful sign of support during a tough time.

Zelensky said on Sunday that his meeting with Pelosi involved talks of military equipment for Ukraine, monetary support, and sanctions against Moscow.