Lavrov responds to allegations
Kremlin: Israel supports the “Nazi regime in kyiv”
Kremlin leader Putin cites the denazification of Ukraine as one of the reasons for the war of aggression. Russia even accuses Israel of supporting the so-called “kyiv Nazi regime” and wants historical evidence.
Despite international outrage over Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s comparison to Hitler, Moscow has stepped up its game even further. The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused Israel of supporting “the neo-Nazi regime in kyiv”. Israel had earlier sharply criticized Lavrov’s statements. Ukraine’s Jewish head of state, Volodymyr Zelenskyj, called Lavrov’s statements “anti-Semitic”. He also accused Russia of waging “total war” in Ukraine.
In an interview with Italian media, Lavrov again claimed that there are neo-Nazis in the Ukrainian government. Ukrainian President Selensky has raised the question of “what kind of Nazism” there could be in Ukraine if he was “a Jew himself”. Lavrov then added, “I could be wrong, but Hitler also had Jewish blood.”
The statements sparked international outrage on Monday. Israeli Foreign Minister Jair Lapid called Lavrov’s comments “outrageous” and “unforgivable”. He had summoned the Russian ambassador. “The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of anti-Semitism,” he added.
“Russia wants to destroy all living beings”
On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry referred directly to Lapid’s statement, noting: “Unfortunately, history knows tragic examples of cooperation between Jews and Nazis.” Selenskyj’s Jewish ancestry is “no guarantee” against neo-Nazism in Ukraine. The country is not the only such case. Moscow appointed Latvian President Egils Levits, who “also has Jewish roots and also supports the rehabilitation of the Waffen SS in his country.”
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday that Russia’s foreign minister had de facto “blamed the Jews themselves for the most terrible crimes in history” that were committed against them. The federal government also called it “propaganda” and called Lavrov’s statements “absurd”.
Zelensky himself called Lavrov’s remarks “anti-Semitic” and said they showed Russia had “forgotten all the lessons of World War II”. It is “no coincidence” that Russia is waging a “so-called total war” to “destroy all living beings”. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine at the end of February, the boss of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly declared that he wants to “demilitarize” and “denazify” the neighboring country.
No weapons from Israel
In a speech to the Knesset in late March, Selenskyj called on Israel to provide more support to his country in the fight against Russian troops. Israel supports Ukraine in the fight against Russian troops with helmets and bulletproof vests, among other things, but according to official information, it has not recently delivered weapons to the country.
Israel traditionally maintains good relations with Ukraine and Russia. After the Russian invasion began on February 24, Bennett attempted to mediate between Kyiv and Moscow.
The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) said Tuesday that Lavrov’s statements had been “rightly criticized as anti-Semitic.” “It remains to be seen whether this provocative statement was just a misstep or whether it is a worrying sign of a new Kremlin policy towards Jews.”