Kyiv, May 3 (EFE).- Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov of “blaming the Jewish people for Nazi crimes” and said that Russia “has forgotten all the lessons of World War II”.
In a speech published early Tuesday morning, Zelenskyy said that “Russia’s foreign minister said openly and without hesitation that the biggest anti-Semites were supposedly among the Jews themselves. And that Hitler supposedly had Jewish blood.”
“How could this be said on the eve of the anniversary of the victory over Nazism? These words mean that Russia’s top diplomat is blaming the Jewish people for Nazi crimes. There are no words,” Zelenskyy said.
In an interview on Italian Canal4 published Sunday, Lavrov said that Zelenskyy and Adolf Hitler share “Jewish origins”, apparently referring to an unproven conspiracy theory that Hitler’s grandfather was Jewish.
In the nearly 50-minute interview, Lavrov repeated the Kremlin line that the invasion’s mission is to “denazify” Ukraine.
When asked about how neo-nazis could have infiltrated the Ukrainian government when Zelenskyy himself is of Jewish origin, Lavrov said: “So what if Zelenskyy is Jewish? The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood,” adding that “some of the worst anti-Semites are Jews.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday strongly condemned his Russian counterpart’s statements and summoned the Russian ambassador to Israel.
“Lavrov’s remarks are both an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error,” Lapid said, adding that “Jews did not commit suicide in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of anti-Semitism.”
In his speech, Zelenskyy said that “no objections or excuses” to Lavrov’s words had been heard in Russia.”
“There is silence. So, they agree with what their foreign minister said,” he said.
“This anti-Semitic attack means that Russia has forgotten all the lessons of the Second World War,” Zelenskyy said. EFE