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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."