Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy could populate eastern Ukrainian land with Jews, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adviser Sergei Glazyev said in an opinion piece published Monday.
Glazyev’s blog post on an obscure nationalist website appeared on the day that Zelenskiy, who is himself Jewish, met with top Ukrainian Orthodox Jewish Hasidic rabbis. Kremlin officials and Russian state-funded media have characterized Ukraine’s pro-Western leadership that swept into power in 2014 as “Nazis” bent on oppressing Russian speakers.
“I don’t rule out, for example, the possibility of a mass movement into southeast Ukrainian land ‘cleansed’ of the Russian population by the inhabitants of the Promised Land tired of permanent war in the Middle East,” Glazyev wrote.
Putin’s recent orders that expedite the process for residents of southeastern Ukraine and other categories of Ukrainians to obtain Russian passports, Glazyev said, “could be quite timely” for Russian speakers in the war-torn Donbass region.
The Kremlin on Tuesday distanced itself from Glazyev’s comments, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying the opinion piece represented Glazyev’s “personal opinion,” the state-run RIA Novosti news outlet reported. The Kremlin administration isn’t discussing the issue “in any way,” Peskov added.