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Michael Gerson Washington Post

WASHINGTON — It is an obscene irony of the war in Ukraine that Russian leaders use the charge that Ukrainians are “Nazis” to dehumanize them, just as the Nazis used dehumanizing accusations against their own enemies. While ostensibly attacking fascists, Russian propagandists use methods that pay tribute to German fascism. In the process, Russian officials have become the spitting image of what they pretend to condemn.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is among the most prolific practitioners of this strategy. The Ukrainian government, he has said, is “pro-Nazi” and controlled by “little Nazis.” The stated goal of his “special operation” is to “denazify” Ukraine. Inspired by Putin, one state television host identifies Ukrainians as “satanic Nazis” and denies that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is really a Jew.

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