Sergei Lavrov and Vladimir Putin > Presidential Executive Office, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Russia’s foreign ministry this week accused Israel of supporting the “neo-Nazi regime” in Ukraine in the wake of Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s incendiary remarks on the Holocaust.

In a statement on Tuesday, Russia accused Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid of making “anti-historical statements” that “largely explain why the current Israeli government supports the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv”.

The Russian statements repeated their claims – made many times – that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, leads a neo-Nazi government.

Israel slammed Russia for earlier comments by Lavrov, in which he claimed that “Hitler also had Jewish blood” and that “some of the worst antisemites are Jews”.

Russia’s ambassador to Israel Antoly Viktorov was summoned by the Israeli foreign ministry on Monday to explain the comments, which Lapid described as “unforgivable”.

Lapid also called for the Russian government to apologise to Jews and to Holocaust survivors, stating categorically: “Hitler was not Jewish and Jews did not murder my grandfather in Mauthausen. The Nazis did it, and all of these comparisons to the Nazis are unforgivable and unfruriating”.