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Jewish Confederation of Ukraine responds to Putin's comment that Zelensky 'isn't Jewish'

by Haley Zehrung June 17, 2023 4:16 AM 1 min read
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The Jewish Confederation of Ukraine (JCU) issued a response to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's comment on June 16 that President Volodymyr Zelensky "is not Jewish," despite the Ukrainian president's Jewish background.

"Volodymyr Zelensky is a leader who set an example of courage to his people and the whole world," the statement read. Zelensky "is a hero not only of the Jewish people, but also of the entire political Ukrainian nation, which, of course, includes Jews."

Earlier on June 16, Putin claimed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that Zelensky is "not Jewish" and a "disgrace to the Jewish people."

Putin also repeated that Ukraine needed to be "denazified" — a baseless claim pushed by Russian propaganda as justification for Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The JCU also said that  "There is no neo-Nazism in modern Ukraine, especially not at the state level," adding that "anti-Semitism, already one of the lowest in Europe, is practically not observed in Ukraine after Feb. 24, 2022."

According to the JCU, "a recent study by the Anti-Defamation League directly linked this to the authority of Zelensky, who led the entire nation, including Jews, in the fight against Russian aggression."

10 popular misconceptions about Ukrainian history, debunked
Editor’s Note: This is episode 1 of “Ukraine’s True History,” a video and story series by the Kyiv Independent. The series is funded by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting within the program “Ukraine Forward: Amplifying Analysis.” The program is financed by the MATRA Programme of the Embassy o…

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