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Putin attacks Zelensky, says he is ‘not Jewish’

by Martin Fornusek June 16, 2023 6:14 PM 1 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference at the Manezh exhibition hall in central Moscow on Dec. 23, 2021. (kremlin.ru)
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Russian dictator Vladimir Putin proclaimed that "according to his Jewish friends," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky is "not Jewish" and a "shame to the Jewish people," Russian media reported on June 16.

Putin made the remarks at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a business event held under the auspices of the Russian president.

Despite the Jewish background of Ukraine's president, the Kremlin continues in baseless accusations that Zelensky and the current Ukrainian government are "Nazis." Russian propaganda claims that Russia invaded Ukraine to "de-Nazify" it.

In May 2022, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attempted to reconcile Zelensky’s background and the Kremlin's propaganda through anti-semitic statements, saying that "some of the worst antisemites are Jews" and even Hitler "had Jewish blood."

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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