Russia accuses "Israel" of backing neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine
Russia's Foreign Ministry stresses that the Jewish origins of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are not a guarantee of protection against neo-Nazism in the country.
Moscow on Tuesday accused the Israeli occupation of supporting "the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev."
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday criticized Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, claiming that the latter made an "unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error," and summoned Moscow's Ambassador for a "tough talk".
"Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust," Lapid said. "The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of antisemitism," he added.
In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out, "We have paid attention to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid's anti-historical remarks, which largely explain the current government's decision to support the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev."
"History, unfortunately, knows tragic examples of cooperation between Jews and Nazis," the statement read, stressing that "antisemitism in everyday life and in politics is not stopped and is on the contrary nurtured (in Ukraine)."
On Italy's Rete 4 channel, Lavrov was asked how Russia could "denazify" Ukraine when the President of the country itself is Jewish.
"When they say 'What sort of nazification is this if we are Jews', well I think that Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it means nothing," Lavrov said, speaking through an Italian interpreter.
On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry underlined that "the Jewish origins of the president (Zelensky) is not a guarantee of protection against rampant neo-Nazism in the country."
"Ukraine, may it be said in passing, is not the only one in this case," the Ministry noted, citing Latvian President Egils Levits who "has also Jewish roots and he also gives cover... to the rehabilitation of the Waffen SS," the combat branch of the Nazi Party in Latvia.