Russia accuses Israel of supporting ‘neo-Nazi regime’ in Kyiv

Russia’s foreign ministry accuses Israel of making ‘anti-historical’ comments

Sravasti Dasgupta
Wednesday 04 May 2022 10:26 BST
(RELATED) Ukraine’s Zelensky says Russia forgot World War Two lessons

Russia has hit out at Israel after it demanded an apology from Moscow for foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s claim that German dictator Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood.

In a statement on Tuesday, Russia’s foreign ministry accused Israel foreign minister Yair Lapid minister of comments that were “anti-historical” which, according to Moscow, “explain to a large extent why the current Israeli government supports the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv”.

“The Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is to blame Jews themselves for antisemitism,” Mr Lapid had said to YNet news website on Monday.

The Russian statement also reiterated the foreign minister’s earlier comment that the Ukrainian president’s Jewish origins did not preclude Ukraine being run by neo-Nazis.

“The president’s Jewish roots cannot serve as a safeguard against the neo-Nazi rampage in the country,” the statement said.

It added: “Nothing is done to stop antisemitism in everyday life and politics. Instead, it is being encouraged.”

The Russian foreign minister’s comments to an Italian news channel on Sunday had drawn the ire of Israel.

“So what if Zelensky is Jewish? The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood,” the Russian minister had said.

He was referring to an unverified claim that Hitler, responsible for the death of nearly 6 million Jews, had possible Jewish and African ancestors.

“Some of the worst antisemites are Jews,” he added.

On 24 February, Russia announced military operations in Ukraine to “de-Nazify” and “de-militarise” the country. Wary of damaging relations, Israel has avoided direct criticism of Russian actions in Ukraine.

It has however expressed support for Ukraine.

Israel’s neutral position has taken a hit after Mr Lapid last month accused Russia of commiting war crimes in Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Ukraine said that the war of words between Israel and Russia begs the question whether Moscow considers any country as a non-Nazi one.

“After the Kremlin claimed that Israel supports Nazism, I have just one question. Is there any non-Nazi country in the whole world in Russia’s point of view? Except Syria, Belarus and Eritrea, of course,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted on Tuesday.

He also mentioned countries that have supported what Moscow calls its “special operation” in Ukraine.

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