Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday that Russia equating him to Adolf Hitler and suggesting he and others in his country’s leadership were antisemites was a continuation of Nazi Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda tactics.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday that Hitler had “Jewish blood,” and on Tuesday, the foreign ministry accused Israel of backing “the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv.” Zelensky is Jewish.
Speaking to Fox News, Zelensky said Moscow was “following the same concept of Goebbels and they are using the same methodology” in the effort to justify the war on Ukraine.
Goebbels was Nazi Germany’s Reich Minister of Propaganda and helped push the Nazi Party’s antisemitic agenda to the country’s masses and set the stage for the Final Solution.
Zelensky added: “I think the reaction in the world is still weak to these remarks by Lavrov.”
Lavrov’s remarks sparked outrage in Israel, which called the statement “unforgivable and outrageous” and a “terrible historical error.”
Doubling down, Russia’s foreign ministry on Tuesday accused Israel of backing “the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv.”
On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry claimed Israeli mercenaries were fighting alongside the far-right Azov Regiment in Ukraine, further fueling tensions with Israel.
“Israeli mercenaries are practically shoulder to shoulder with Azov militants in Ukraine,” Maria Zakharova told pro-Kremlin Sputnik radio in an interview.
Speaking Tuesday with The Times of Israel, a senior adviser to Zelensky said that Lavrov’s comments border on Holocaust denial and prove that Moscow is a threat to Jews everywhere.
Andriy Yermak also predicted Israel would move closer to Ukraine, citing Lavrov’s remarks and war crimes allegedly committed by Russian forces.
Israel has attempted to strike a balance between support for Ukraine and preserving open ties with Russia, to Kyiv’s dismay, though it has begun to speak out more stridently against Moscow and has agreed to begin sending helmets and flak jackets to Kyiv, rather than purely humanitarian aid.