Vladimir Putin has baselessly claimed that Western powers installed Volodymyr Zelenskyy – who has Jewish heritage – to “cover glorification of Nazism”.
The Russian president has previously described his invasion of Ukraine as an attempt to “denazify” the country.
Before Russian forces crossed into Ukraine last year, Mr Putin claimed without evidence that Ukrainians were “facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kyiv regime”, and the “special military operation” was a means to “protect” them.
Mr Putin’s remarks about Mr Zelenskyy today were in response to a question put to him on Russian state TV.
“Western curators have put a person at the head of modern Ukraine – an ethnic Jew, with Jewish roots, with Jewish origins,” he said.
Mr Putin said they were “covering up an anti-human essence” he called the “foundation… of the modern Ukrainian state”.
“And this makes the whole situation extremely disgusting, in that an ethnic Jew is covering up the glorification of Nazism and covering up those who led the Holocaust in Ukraine at one time.”
Mr Zelenskyy has said some of his grandfather’s brothers were killed in the Holocaust, and has repeatedly dismissed accusations that he has supported neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
US trying to stop Putin and Kim Jong Un meeting ‘ever happening’
Following on from our last post, military analyst Sean Bell talks us through the latest on those reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may travel to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin.
Though it’s all speculation at the moment, the fact we’re hearing about the apparent summit is “almost certainly a US effort to disrupt the meeting ever happening”, Bell explains.
This is due to Kim Jon Un’s “paranoia” about his personal safety, he adds.
However, there’s “worrying potential” about where a possible arms deal between Russia and Ukraine could lead, he says.