Zelenskyy calls on the world to fight quothatequot how Putin

Zelenskyy calls on the world to fight "hate" how Putin practices lies "Neo-Nazis in Ukraine" on Holocaust Memorial Day

indifference kills. That was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s message to the world as Ukraine’s first Jewish head of state marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday.

“Today, as always, Ukraine honors the memory of millions of victims of the Holocaust. We know and remember that indifference kills together with hate. Indifference and hatred are only ever capable of creating evil together,” said the Ukrainian leader, addressing US and European diplomats attending the commemoration amid Russia’s ongoing war against his country.

Friday marked the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland, and Zelenskyy spoke at the Babyn Yar Memorial near Kyiv – the site of one of the deadliest Nazi atrocities during World War II.


A picture provided by the Ukrainian government shows President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attending a memorial service at the Babyn Yar Memorial to the Jewish victims of a German Nazi massacre on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2023. Handout/Office of the President of Ukraine

“We repeat it even more strongly than before: never again hate, never again indifference,” Zelenskyy said. “The more nations of the world overcome their indifference, the less room there will be for hate in the world.”

Zelenskyi’s message was in stark contrast to that of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose war against Ukraine enters its twelfth month.

On Friday, Putin repeated a false claim he had long used to justify his invasion of the neighboring country, suggesting that “neo-Nazis” allied with Zelenskyy had been committing crimes in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

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“Forgetting the lessons of history leads to the repetition of terrible tragedies,” Putin said. “This is evidenced by the crimes against civilians, ethnic cleansing and punitive actions organized by neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Our soldiers fight bravely against this evil.”

Supporters of Putin’s military operation have claimed that Ukraine’s treatment of the Russian-speaking population is comparable to the actions of Nazi Germany. The claims have been refuted by the Ukrainian government, its foreign partners and Ukraine’s own Jewish community, of which Zelenskyy is a member.

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The Auschwitz Museum in Poland, citing Russia’s ongoing assault on Ukraine, has decided not to invite Russian officials to its official ceremony on Friday, marking the day the then-Soviet Union’s Red Army liberated prisoners at the Auschwitz death camp.

“It will take Russia an extremely long time and very deep self-examination after this conflict to return to the gatherings of the civilized world,” said Piotr Sawicki, a spokesman for the museum, at the site of the former camp.

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Auschwitz survivors tell their story 70 years later 27 photos

“For us,” Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar told AFP, “this is clearly a humiliation because we know and remember the role of the Red Army in the liberation of Auschwitz and the defeat of Nazism.”

“These political games have no place on Holocaust Day,” Lazar added.