Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a television interview on Tuesday, without citing evidence, that Western powers had installed Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is of Jewish heritage, as president of Ukraine to cover up the glorification of Nazism.

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In justifying its invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a “special military operation”, Russia accuses Kyiv’s leaders of being neo-Nazis pursuing a “genocide” of Russian-speakers – an assertion that Kyiv and Western countries dismiss as a baseless pretext for a war of acquisition.

Putin was answering a question from Russian reporter Pavel Zaubin and his comments were shown on Russian state TV.

Zelenskyy, who has said that some of his grandfather’s brothers were killed in the Holocaust, has repeatedly dismissed as false Russian accusations that he has supported neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

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