You’ve all heard that Putin aims to “denazify” Ukraine, which is absurd on its face, given that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish himself and his grandfather lost three brothers in the Holocaust.
However, let’s put aside the absurdity of this argument for now. What I’d like to focus on is the other side of Putin’s proposed equation. If the Ukrainians are Nazis, who, then, are the Russians?
Years before the war in Ukraine…
Several years ago, I was speaking to one of my relatives who lives in Russia. Please note that this was several years ago – before the current war in Ukraine. Unfortunately, this relative has been brainwashed by Putin’s propaganda machine. Still, before the war in Ukraine, my discussions with this individual were more curious to me than threatening – after all, how many people outside of Russia get to hear an uncensored version of Putin’s pro-Russia messaging in such extended detail?
Anyway, I vividly remember my family member making the following statement several years ago:
Russians today are hated by the world, just like Jews were hated by Hitler and the Nazis. We are today’s Jews.-My family member who lives in Russia
Upon hearing this, I had to bite my tongue because the conversation was becoming uncomfortable for me. Luckily, I succeeded at merely nodding, but the comparison is beyond utterly absurd and beyond horribly offensive. Is a genocide being perpetrated against Russians, as one was against European Jewry? Are Russians being gassed and burned in ovens? Did I actually need to be asking such questions? Did we really need to have that conversation?
Anyway, ever since Russia invaded Ukraine several weeks ago, the censorship and propaganda in Russia have gone into overdrive (I’ve already written about this), and I came across a piece on Haaretz.com (behind a paywall, unfortunately) on precisely this subject. For those of you who cannot access the article, I am posting several snippets here:
From the Haaretz article:
In the days since Russia invaded Ukraine, there has been a sudden rush among Russia’s most notorious propagandists to identify as Jews – including notoriously antisemitic figures who use ethnic slurs against Jews while claiming to be members of the tribe.
What could explain the appropriation of the Holocaust and claims of Judaism from the very same leaders of the Russian regime’s propaganda machine? There are two possible explanations: One psychological, the other political.
Psychologically, by associating themselves with Jews, and specifically with genocide and the Holocaust by the Nazis, it allows Russians to cynically paint themselves as the real victims, and with the West playing the role of the oppressor, as an attempt to push back from the images coming out of Ukraine which show cities under the kind of bombardment not seen since the Nazis in WWII.
The article provides several different examples of this phenomenon, and links to a music video on YouTube (not suitable for those who find racist propaganda nauseating):
The Haaretz.com article explains:
Sergei Shnurov, the leader of a popular Russian rock band, Leningrad, and the director of RTVI, a Russian television (propaganda) channel, released his new music video new music video called “No Entry: Russians and Dogs” about what he terms the “genocide” of Russians in Ukraine.
In the video, two men stand behind the lead singers, wearing the traditional folk “Tolstoy shirt” (the kosovorotka) but this time, decorated with large stars of David, reminiscent of the yellow Jewish star mandated by the Nazis during WWII. Shnurov sings: “A Russian is now like a Jew in Berlin in 1940” while a female backup singer echoes a refrain about “genocide.”
There you have it
A more cynical and absurd comparison is difficult to imagine, especially give that there is absolutely no proof of any genocide being perpetrated against Russians, and especially because Russia initiated the war against Ukraine, not vice-versa!
Of course, I don’t expect any of my readers to side with Russia in this war or to agree with the propaganda it is putting out… So, I’m not sharing this in order to convince anyone of anything that they aren’t already inclined to believe.
Rather, I’m publishing this in order to increase public awareness of this insane Russian State messaging – and I am letting you know that I am personally related to at least one individual who buys into this! I want you all to know: all of this is very, very, very real.