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Putin’s anti-Semitic comments about Zelenskyy spark backlash from Ukrainian officials

Putin statement Prigozhin
Screenshot from broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address regarding the coup of Wagner leader Prigozhin, a result of Russia’s weakening by the war against Ukraine.

In a commentary to a journalist on the Russian state-run TV channel VGTRK, Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again made anti-Semitic remarks about the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Meduza reported.

Vladimir Putin said that “Western curators have put an ethnic Jew at the head of modern Ukraine” to “cover up the anti-human nature” of Ukraine.

“This makes the situation extremely disgusting, that an ethnic Jew is covering up the glorification of Nazism and those who once led the Holocaust in Ukraine,” Putin said.

The spox of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oleh Nikolenko, noted that Vladimir Putin’s obsession with the Jewish origin of the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is evidence of “deep-rooted anti-Semitism” of the Russian President.

“Putin’s chronic fixation on the ethnic origin of the Ukrainian president is yet another manifestation of the deep-rooted anti-Semitism of Russian elites. We call on the world to strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements of the Russian President. There should be no place for ethnic hatred in the modern world,” Oleh Nikolenko wrote on Facebook.

This is not the first time Vladimir Putin has commented on the Jewish origin of the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. On 16 June 2023, the Russian President called Zelenskyy “a disgrace to the Jewish people.” Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, Moshe Reuven Asman, immediately reacted to Putin’s comments and said that he is proud of Zelenskyy and “the whole world is proud of him.”

Earlier before, in May 2022, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, May 2022, also commented on Zelenskyy’s Jewish roots, saying that “Jews are the most ardent anti-Semites.”


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