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Russia’s Lavrov accuses West of fixating on ‘nuclear war,’ compares US to Hitler

Foreign minister’s comments come days after Putin ordered his nuclear forces on high alert

In this handout photo released by the Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens to the UN special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, right back to a camera, during their talks in Moscow, Russia, on February 23, 2022. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)
In this handout photo released by the Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens to the UN special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, right back to a camera, during their talks in Moscow, Russia, on February 23, 2022. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

MOSCOW — Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday accused Western politicians of fixating on nuclear war and compared the US to former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

“It’s clear that World War Three can only be a nuclear war,” Lavrov said in an online interview with Russian and foreign media.

“I would like to point out that it’s in the heads of Western politicians that the idea of a nuclear war is spinning constantly, and not in the heads of Russians,” he said.

“Therefore I assure you that we will not allow any provocations to throw us off balance,” Lavrov added.

“In their time, both Napoleon and Hitler set themselves the task of subjugating Europe. Now the Americans have subdued it,” Lavrov said.

“We see that there’s a picture like in Hollywood of absolute evil and absolute good, and this is unfortunate,” he added.

On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s nuclear forces be put on high alert, accusing the West of taking “unfriendly” steps against his country.

In this photo taken on Thursday, June 12, 2008, a power-generating unit at the Zaporozhiya nuclear power plant is seen in the city of Enerhodar, in southern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Olexander Prokopenko, file)

Moscow has the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons and a huge cache of ballistic missiles which form the backbone of the country’s deterrence forces.

Putin announced the invasion last week in Ukraine to defend separatists in the east of the country, and “demilitarize and de-nazify” its pro-Western neighbor.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the mayor of Enerhodar, site of Europe’s largest nuclear plant, said Ukrainian forces are battling Russian troops on the edges of the city.

Enerhodar is a major energy hub on the left bank of the Dnieper River and the Khakhovka Reservoir that accounts for about one-quarter of the country’s power generation due to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which is Europe’s largest.

Dmytro Orlov, the mayor of Enerhodar, said Thursday that a big Russian convoy was approaching the city and urged residents not to leave homes.

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