President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said Ukraine "glorifies" Adolf Hitler's SS killing squads and vowed to "eradicate Nazism," as he opened a memorial marking 80 years since the end of the siege of Leningrad.

The Russian leader has repeatedly invoked the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War to justify his current offensive against Ukraine.

His charge that Ukraine is a fascist state that needs "de-Nazifying" has been debunked as false by independent experts.

On Saturday, Putin said "the regime in Kyiv glorifies Hitler's accomplices, the SS."

And Russia would "do everything possible to suppress and finally eradicate Nazism," he said.

"The followers of Nazi executioners, whatever they call themselves today, are doomed," he said near Saint Petersburg, his home town and the modern-day name of Leningrad.

Advertisement

Ukraine, the West and independent scholars have repeatedly rejected Putin's attempt to cast Kyiv as Nazi sympathisers.

He was speaking at the opening of a new memorial complex to victims of the siege of Leningrad -- an event which forms a major part of Putin's personal identity and one which has totemic importance for millions of Russians.

More than 800,000 people died from starvation, disease and bombardment during the 872-day encirclement by German forces in the Second World War. 

Putin had earlier on Saturday visited a cemetery where more than 400,000 victims were buried in mass graves.

Lithuania Closes Two More Border Crossings with Belarus
Other Topics of Interest

Lithuania Closes Two More Border Crossings with Belarus

Lithuania said it's been “witnessing increased activity of Belarusian and Russian intelligence services” on its territory.

The Soviet Red Army broke the siege on 27 January 1944.

Although he was born after the war, Putin's elder brother died of starvation during the siege.

He has also recalled how his mother once fainted and was laid out in the street next to a bunch of corpses, presumed dead from hunger.

The Kremlin has been accused of manipulating its Second World War history to justify the offensive against Ukraine and a repressive turn at home.

The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people in what it calls the "Great Patriotic War" -- more than any other country.

Advertisement

Putin has made memory of the war central to Russia's national psyche. 

Parades, monuments, cultural events and school curriculums have been increasingly dedicated to the heroism and courage of Soviet soldiers.

At the same time the Kremlin has sought to quash controversy surrounding the conflict. 

Topics such as the Soviet Union's 1939 secret alliance with Germany to carve up Poland and the massacre of more than 20,000 Poles at Katyn by Joseph Stalin's secret police are taboo.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (3)

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@ellensky sux, 🐕💩 We all know that YouTube is blocked in Russia, so what you actually meant to say is "we all watched fake russian propaganda simultaneously broadcast on all available channels". 



The russian TV actors wearing nazi uniforms all spoke russian, and the grieving russian soldiers wive's in the background scenes all were temporarily wearing fur jackets loaned by the Kremlin for the duration of the photoshoot.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
ellensky sux
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

we all watched the ukraine nazis on youtube. stop lying.

John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@ellensky sux, 🐕💩 We all know that YouTube is blocked in Russia, so what you actually meant to say is "we all watched fake russian propaganda simultaneously broadcast on all available channels".

The russian TV actors wearing nazi uniforms all spoke russian, and the grieving russian soldiers wive's in the background scenes all were temporarily wearing fur jackets loaned by the Kremlin for the duration of the photoshoot.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Interesting that former republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy parrots the false nazi accusations of putin. Here's a quote from him "Ukraine has celebrated a Nazi in its ranks, the comedian in cargo pants, a man called Zelensky,” and another "What I think we need to do is end the Ukraine war on peaceful terms that, yes, do make some major concessions to Russia, including freezing those current lines of control in a Korean-war style armistice agreement. ... Which Ukraine wouldn't want to do," he continued. "And also a permanent commitment not to allow Ukraine to enter NATO." Basically he wanted to sell Ukraine out.

Vivik has fortunately since dropped out of the Republican presidential candidacy race but revealingly told his following to vote for trump instead. Trumps MAGA cult has been doing its best to derail Ukraine support throughout this war. It would be a disaster for Ukraine and the USA's unity if they ever won the American presidency again.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png