In an emotional call with American Jewish leaders, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky characterizes the Russian invasion of his country as “pure Nazism.”
Zelensky also invokes his Jewishness in an appeal for assistance while speaking via Zoom with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
On the call, Zelensky angrily rejects claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia launched the war to “denazify” Ukraine, saying that it is the Russians who are acting like Nazis.
“This is just pure Nazism,” Zelensky says of the indiscriminate Russian attacks that have killed civilians. “He’s just destroying the citizens of Ukraine of different nationalities. This is just pure Nazi behavior. I can’t even qualify this in any different manner.”
He also decries Putin’s demand that Ukraine concede totally, and likens what is happening to the start of the Nazi Holocaust.
“For some reason, we have to kneel down and give our weapons away. We have to hoist the Russian flag. We are supposed to say that we don’t want anything, (that) we want to put our hands up,” Zelensky says. “Listen, all of this already happened. In Europe. All of this happened during Nazi times when the German army rolled through Europe and everyone gave the Jewish people away.”