World

Lavrov: So what if Zelensky is Jewish, even Hitler ‘had Jewish blood’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Sunday said that the fact that Ukraine’s president is Jewish does not contradict Moscow’s claims that it launched the invasion to “denazify” the country, claiming that even Hitler “had Jewish blood.”

In an interview with Italian news channel Zona Bianca, Lavrov was asked how Russian President Vladimir Putin could claim he was trying to “denazify” Ukraine when Volodymyr Zelensky, the country’s democratically elected president, was Jewish.

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

Persistent conspiracy theories that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had some Jewish ancestry that may have motivated his antisemitism and the murder of six million Jews have been repeatedly debunked by historians.

Announcing the invasion, Putin said that the “special military operation” would seek the “denazification” of its sovereign neighbor. Russian media has repeatedly sought to portray Ukraine as being aligned with Nazism, without evidence to support such accusations.

The head of Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum Dani Dayan condemned Lavrov’s remarks that came in the same week that Israel commemorates the Holocaust, calling his words “false, delusional and dangerous, and worthy of all condemnation.”

Head of Yad Vashem Dani Dayan. (Alex Kolomoisky/Yad Vashem)

yad vashem and other groups representing survivors had previously condemned Russia’s claim that Ukraine needed to be “denazified” as “not based on fact, it distorts and trivializes the Holocaust, and we deplore it.”

In the interview, Lavrov also accused the US of torpedoing peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv and accused the Western media of distorted coverage of the war and painting “distorted views of me.”

But he said Zelensky still had the power to end the war if he “stopped giving criminal orders to his Nazi forces.”

Lavrov’s comments came after Zelensky met with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Kyiv, and called the meeting a powerful signal of support in a difficult time.

In a televised address on Sunday evening, Zelensky said his meeting with Pelosi included discussions of defense supplies to Ukraine, financial support and sanctions against Russia.

In this image released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on May 1, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, right, awards the Order of Princess Olga, the third grade, to US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 30, 2022 (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Pelosi and a half dozen US lawmakers met with Zelensky and his top aides for about three hours late Saturday to voice American solidarity with the besieged nation and get a first-hand assessment as she works to steer a massive new Ukraine aid package through Congress.

Zelensky said Ukrainians “are grateful to all partners who send such important and powerful signals of support by visiting our capital at such a difficult time.”

Additionally, Zelensky estimated that more than 350,000 people had been evacuated from combat zones thanks to humanitarian corridors pre-arranged with Moscow since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. Many civilians were evacuated Sunday from at a steel plant in the bombed-out city of Mariupol.

As many as 100,000 people are believed to still be in blockaded Mariupol, including up to 1,000 civilians who were hunkered down with an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters beneath the Soviet-era steel plant — the only part of the city not occupied by the Russians.

However, the fate of the Ukrainian fighters still hunkered down in the plant was not immediately clear.

A Russian serviceman stands guards as a group of international journalists look at a painting of a Ukrainian woman holding a Soviet-era red flag in territory under the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. This photo was taken during a trip organized by the Russian Ministry of Defense. (AP Photo)

Mariupol has seen some of the worst suffering of the war. A maternity hospital was hit with a lethal Russian airstrike in the opening weeks of the war, and about 300 people were reported killed in the bombing of a theater where civilians were taking shelter.

Zelensky also accused Moscow of waging “a war of extermination,” saying Russian shelling had hit food, grain and fertilizer warehouses, and residential neighborhoods in the Kharkiv, Donbas and other regions.

“What could be Russia’s strategic success in this war? Honestly, I do not know. The ruined lives of people and the burned or stolen property will give nothing to Russia,” he said.

The body of a man lies in an apartment as Russian bombardments continue in a village recently retaken by Ukrainian forces near Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Russian forces have embarked on a major military operation to seize significant parts of southern and eastern Ukraine following their failure to capture the capital, Kyiv. Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of ​​Azov, is a key target because of its strategic location near the Crimea Peninsula, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.

We’re telling a critical story

Israel is now a far more prominent player on the world stage than its size suggests. As The Times of Israel’s Diplomatic Correspondent, I’m well aware that Israel’s security, strategy and national interests are always scrutinized and have serious implications.

It takes balance, determination, and knowledge to accurately convey Israel’s story, and I come to work every day aiming to do so fully.

Financial support from readers like you allows me to travel to witness both war (I just returned from reporting in Ukraine) and the signing of historic agreements. And it enables The Times of Israel to remain the place readers across the globe turn to for accurate news about Israel’s relationship with the world.

If it’s important to you that independent, fact-based coverage of Israel’s role in the world exists and thrives, I urge you to support our work. Will you join The Times of Israel Community today?

Thank you,

Lazar BermanDiplomatic Correspondent

Yes, I’ll give

Yes, I’ll give

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

You’re a dedicated reader

That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREEas well as accessing exclusive content Available only to Times of Israel Community members.

Thank you,
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel

Join Our Community

Join Our Community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button