Putin condemns 'Russophobia' in Europe at World War Two memorial
Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized Europe for "Russophobia" and accused the Baltic States of human rights violations during a World War Two memorial event on Saturday.
Putin, who deployed Russian troops to Ukraine nearly two years ago, often draws parallels between this and the fight against the Nazis to unify Russia.
Speaking in the Leningrad region on the 80th anniversary of the Nazi siege's end, Putin said, "The regime in Kyiv glorifies Hitler's accomplices, the SS men... In several European countries, Russophobia is nurtured as a state policy." He argued that Nazi Germany aimed to plunder the Soviet Union's resources and annihilate its people.
Ukraine, once a Soviet Union part and also a victim of Hitler's brutality, dismisses these comparisons as baseless justifications for an aggressive war.
In his address, Putin also targeted the Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—over human rights issues. These nations, once under Moscow's rule during the Cold War and now part of the European Union and NATO, have been vocal critics of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Putin claimed, "In the Baltic states, tens of thousands are branded as subhuman, stripped of fundamental rights, and face persecution," referring to their strict migration policies. Moscow has consistently accused these nations of xenophobia and discrimination against Russian minorities.