Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Moscow says Israeli 'mercenaries' fighting in Ukraine

Russian foreign ministry claims Israeli mercenaries are 'practically shoulder to shoulder' with Azov militants — a group of Ukrainian far-right activists viewed by Russia as fascists and Nazis, further stoking tensions with Jerusalem

AFP |
Published: 05.04.22, 14:41
A spokeswoman for Russia's foreign ministry on Wednesday claimed Israeli mercenaries were fighting alongside the far-right Azov Regiment in Ukraine, further fueling tensions with Israel after Russian Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested Adolf Hitler had "Jewish blood".
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  • "Israeli mercenaries are practically shoulder to shoulder with Azov militants in Ukraine," Maria Zakharova told pro-Kremlin Sputnik radio in an interview.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    מריה זחרובה ארכיון ינואר 2020 דוברת משרד החוץ של רוסיה
    מריה זחרובה ארכיון ינואר 2020 דוברת משרד החוץ של רוסיה
    Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
    (Photo: AP)
    Azov rose to prominence in 2014, when its far-right activists took up arms to fight pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region but have since fallen under the command of Ukraine's military.
    They have been fighting alongside the Ukrainian army against Russian troops, which on February 24 launched a military campaign in the pro-Western country.
    Its members are part of the Ukrainian resistance in the port city of Mariupol, holed up inside the Azovstal steel plant against which Russian forces launched a major assault on Tuesday.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    חיילים ישראלים בצבא אוקראינה מרימים דגל ישראל ודגל אוקראינה
    חיילים ישראלים בצבא אוקראינה מרימים דגל ישראל ודגל אוקראינה
    Israeli volunteers in the Ukrainian army hold up the Israeli and Ukrainian flags
    (Photo: Taken from Facebook)
    By suggesting that Israelis are fighting alongside Azov — viewed by Russia as "fascists" and "Nazis" — Moscow is compounding tensions that started after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday that Hitler had "Jewish blood", along with other antisemitic provocations.
    These statements were directed toward Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is of Jewish descent.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov
    Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
    (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation)
    Lavrov's remarks sparked outrage in Israel, which officials, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, slammed - calling the statement "unforgivable and outrageous" and a "terrible historical error".
    Russia's foreign ministry on Tuesday accused Israel of backing "the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv".
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