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EXPLAINER: Why Putin uses WWII to justify attacks in Ukraine

Russia Putin
Posted at 10:33 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 13:50:55-05

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Vladimir Putin told the world in the lead-up to its attacks on Ukraine that his operation aimed to “denazify” Ukraine. Ukraine has a Jewish president who lost relatives in the Holocaust and who heads a Western-backed, democratically elected government. The Holocaust, World War II and Nazism have been important tools for Putin in his bid to legitimize Russia’s moves in Ukraine. But historians see his use of them as disinformation and a cynical ploy to advance Putin's aims. Israel has proceeded cautiously in regards to Russia's narrative, seeking not to jeopardize its security ties with the Kremlin. Israel’s regional security concerns were of greater interest than challenging Russia on its narrative, one former Israeli official says.