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

In seeking to justify its invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a “special military operation”, Moscow accuses Kyiv’s leaders of pursuing a neo-Nazi “genocide” of Ukraine’s millions of native Russian-speakers - something Kyiv and its Western allies call a baseless pretext for a war of acquisition.

It was not the first time Putin had tried to associate modern Ukraine’s democratically elected government with the mass murder of Ukrainian Jews in World War Two by Nazi German occupiers of Soviet Ukraine and their local collaborators.

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