US Accuses Russia of Distorting the Holocaust With ‘Denazification’ Rhetoric Targeting Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Photo: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP.

July 13, 2022

Russia is engaging in Holocaust distortion to “delegitimize and demonize Ukraine” amid its ongoing invasion of the country, the U.S. State Department charged in a dossier published on Monday.

In the document, titled “To Vilify Ukraine, The Kremlin Resorts to Antisemitism,” the State Department noted, “One of the Kremlin’s most common disinformation narratives to justify its devastating war against the people of Ukraine is the lie that Russia is pursuing the ‘denazification’ of Ukraine…The Kremlin attempts to manipulate international public opinion by drawing false parallels between Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine and the Soviet fight against Nazi Germany.”

“To serve its predatory ends, the Kremlin is exploiting the suffering and sacrifice of all those who lived through World War II and survived the Holocaust,” it went on to say. “In the process, the Kremlin is detracting from critically important global efforts to combat antisemitism and is instead propagating one of antisemitism’s most insidious forms, Holocaust distortion.”

“With antisemitism on the rise around the world, it is imperative for all to call out this particularly pernicious kind of Russian disinformation,” the State Department concluded.

Earlier in the dossier, the State Department highlighted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks from May in which — referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Jewish heritage — he asserted that Adolf Hitler “had Jewish blood, too,” and that “wise Jewish people say that the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews.”

“Well before Lavrov’s remarks, Russian intelligence-linked outlets and Kremlin propagandists have long spread disinformation and propaganda targeting Zelenskyy’s Jewishness and Ukraine’s relations with Israel,” the State Department added.