The Russian Foreign Ministry defended Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov this week against Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in a diplomatic spat over comments by Lavrov when he said that “Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood.”

Speaking to Italian news channel Zona Bianca, Lavrov had attempted to defend Russia’s portrayal of Ukraine as a Nazi state. When asked how a Nazi state could be headed by a Jewish president such as Volodymyr Zelensky, he responded: “So what if Zelensky is Jewish? Hitler had Jewish blood.”

The Russian foreign minister also claimed that “the greatest anti-Semites were Jews.”

Lapid immediately condemned the remarks: “Foreign Minister Lavrov’s remarks are both an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error,” Lapid said Monday. He also said that the Israeli Foreign Ministry had summoned the Russian ambassador to “clarify” the comments.

According to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the Russian ministry shot back with a tweet: “Pay attention to the anti-Russian announcements by the head of Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid that largely explain the policy of the current Israeli government in support of the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv.”

For Ukraine, Lavrov’s remarks represented a propaganda coup.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: “FM Lavrov could not help hiding the deeply rooted anti-Semitism of the Russian elites. His heinous remarks are offensive to President @ZelenskyyUa, Ukraine, Israel, and the Jewish people. More broadly, they demonstrate that today’s Russia is full of hatred towards other nations.”


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