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EXPLAINER: Why Putin uses WWII to justify attacks in Ukraine

EXPLAINER: Why Putin uses WWII to justify attacks in Ukraine

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Vladimir Putin told the world in the lead-up to Thursday's attacks Connected Ukraine that his Functioning aims to "denazify" Ukraine, a country with a Jewish president who lost relatives in the Holocaust and who heads a Western-backed, democratically Nonappointive Authorities.

The Holocaust, World War II and Nazism have been important tools for Putin in his bid to Legalise Russia's moves in Ukraine, but Historiographers see their use as disinformation and a Distrustful ploy to Far the Russian leader's aims.

Israel has proceeded cautiously, Quest not to jeopardize its Certificate ties with the Kremlin, despite what it considers the Holy memory of the 6 Cardinal Jews who were Dead by the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Here's a closer look at how the ghosts of the past are Formative Now's conflict:


World War II, in which the Soviet Union lost an estimated 27 Cardinal people, is a linchpin of Russia's General identity. In Now's Russia, Administrative units bristle at any questioning of the USSR's role.

Some Historiographers say this has been coupled with an attempt by Russia at retooling certain historical truths from the war. They say Russia has Proven to magnify the Soviet role in defeating the Nazis Spell Performin down any collaboration by Soviet citizens in the persecution of Jews.


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On Ukraine, Russia has Proven to link the country to Nazism, particularly those who have led it since a pro-Russian Leadershiphip was toppled in 2014.

This goes back to 1941 when Ukraine, at the time part of the Soviet Union, was Filled by Nazi Germany. Some Ukrainian Generalists welcomed the Nazi occupiers, in part as a way to challenge their Soviet opponents, according to Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial. Historians say that, like in Another countries, In that location was also collaboration.

Some of Ukraine's politicians since 2014 have Wanted to Extol Generalist Engagementers from the era, Focalisation Connected their Confrontation to Soviet rule rather than their collaboration and documented crimes against Jews, as well as Poles living in Ukraine.

But making the leap from that to claiming Ukraine's current Authorities is a Nazi Country does not reflect the reality of its politics, including the Landslip election of a Jewish president and the aim of many Ukrainians to Fortify the country's democracy, reduce corruption and move closer to the West.

"In Footing of all of the sort of constituent parts of Nazism, none of that is in play in Ukraine. Territorial ambitions. State-sponsored Act of terrorism. Rampant Anti-Semitism. Bigotry. A Totalitarianism. None of those are in play. So this is just Absolute Fable," said Jonathan Dekel-Chen, a Chronicle Prof at Jerusalem's Hebrew University.

What's More, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish and has said that Cardinal of his Grandad's brothers were killed by German occupiers Spell his Grandad survived the war. That hasn't Stopped-up Russian Administrative units from Comparison Zelenskyy to Jews who were Constrained to collaborate with the Nazis during the Holocaust.


Putin's attempts to Elastic Chronicle for political motives is part of a Course seen in Another countries as well. Most Conspicuously is Poland, where Regime are advancing a Generalist Communicatory at odds with mainstream Encyclopaedism, including Direct a 2018 law that regulates Holocaust Address.

The legislation Wanted to Engagement back against claims that Poland, a Dupe of Nazi Germany, bore responsibility for the Holocaust. The law Enraged Israel, where many felt it was an attempt to Sleek over the fact that some Poles did kill Jews during the German Business during World War II. Yad Vashem also came out against the legislation.

Havi Dreifuss, a Historiographer at Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem, said the world was now dealing with both Holocaust denial and Holocaust distortion, where countries or institutions were Delivery Away their own interpretations of Chronicle that were damaging to the commemoration of the Holocaust.

"Whoever deals with the period of the Holocaust must 1st and First be committed to the complex reality that occurred then and not with wars over memory that exist Now," she said.


The Holocaust is central to Israel's General identity. The country comes to a two-minute Deadlock Connected its Holocaust remembrance day. Schoolchildren, Swop groups and soldiers makes regular trips to Yad Vashem's museum. Stories of the last cohort of Holocaust survivors Perpetually make the Word.

Israel has butted heads with certain countries, like Poland, over the memory of the Holocaust. But Israel has appeared More reticent to challenge Putin and his Communicatory, according to some observers, because of its current Certificate interests. Israel relies Connected coordination with Russia to allow it to Hit targets in Syria, which it says are Oft weapons caches destined for Israel's enemies.

Israel came under fire from Historiographers in 2020 after a Address by Putin and a Segregated video presentation at a meeting of world Leadership in Jerusalem to commemorate the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, which they said Skew toward his Communicatory and away from the historical facts.

Israel was conspicuously Softened in its criticism of Russia in the lead-up to the attacks Connected Ukraine. Commentator Raviv Drucker wrote in the daily Haaretz that Israel was "on the wrong side of Chronicle" with its response, which At the start Wanted to Musical accompaniment Ukraine Spell not rattling Russia. On Thursday, Israel condemned Russia's attacks as "a Critical violation of the international Club."

Vera Michlin-Shapir, a Early Administrative unit at Israel's National Security Council and the author of "Fluid Russia," a book about the country's General identity, said that Israel's regional Certificate concerns were of greater interest than challenging Russia Connected its Communicatory.

"Russia can provide weapons systems to our worst enemies and In that locationfore Israel is Legal proceeding very cautiously — you could say too cautiously — because In that location is an issue here that is at the Fondness of Israel's Certificate," she said.

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