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8 Sep, 2021 14:31

World was ‘vaccinated against virus of Nazism’ by WWII, but immunity wearing off in countries like Ukraine, Russian FM Lavrov says

World was ‘vaccinated against virus of Nazism’ by WWII, but immunity wearing off in countries like Ukraine, Russian FM Lavrov says

A sharp spike in the number of cases of virulent Russophobia and efforts to rehabilitate Nazis shows that people are forgetting the lessons learned from WWII and sliding back toward disaster, Russia's top diplomat has claimed.

Speaking at the International Anti-Fascist Forum in Moscow on Wednesday, Sergey Lavrov paid tribute to the anniversaries of two historical events this year – the 80th anniversary of Russia joining the war against Nazi Germany, and the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg war trials giving their final verdicts.

"Unfortunately, today, the effect of the vaccination they gave against the Nazi virus is beginning to weaken," Lavrov said. "In Ukraine and in the Baltic countries, anti-Russian propaganda is being carried out in the open, while nationalist radicals rear their heads."

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"Monuments to the soldiers of the Red Army who liberated the world from the 'brown' plague are being desecrated and destroyed," Lavrov added. "Stepping up international efforts to curb these dangerous tendencies, which threaten the fundamental principles of peaceful co-existence of states, is more important than ever."

Ukraine has ordered a series of monuments commemorating the victory over fascism to be toppled in recent years, as part of its campaign to erase Soviet-era iconography. However, over the same period, authorities have sanctioned installations dedicated to wartime Ukrainian nationalists, with a statue of Nazi collaborator Roman Shukhevych unveiled in the city of Ivano-Frankovsk in 2019.

Also on rt.com Alarming trend in Ukraine: Historic monuments toppled, Nazi symbols spread (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

The year before, a memorial dedicated to the victims of a WWII massacre of civilians, including Soviet prisoners of war and Jewish people, was vandalized in the Ukrainian city of Poltava. Right-wing hoodlums drew a mustache on a bust portraying a grieving mother, while the phrase "Heil Hitler" was daubed on the stonework, accompanied by a swastika.

Earlier this year, a torchlit parade of nationalists and neo-Nazi sympathizers drew international condemnation as they marched through Kiev in honor of another Nazi collaborator, Stepan Bandera, widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of Ukrainian nationhood. Chants heard during the rally included "Nationalism is our religion. Bandera is our prophet," as well as the controversial rallying cry "Glory to Ukraine, glory to heroes!" The slogan, used by a division of Ukrainian paramilitaries who fought alongside the Nazis and carried out a series of war crimes, was adopted by the country's national soccer team on its jerseys for the EURO 2020 tournament.

Also on rt.com Ukrainian city topples Soviet WWII monument ‘in critical condition’… after 3rd attempt (VIDEO)

The Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have also faced criticism for a rising tide of nationalist sentiment and WWII revisionism. In 2019, the Russian embassy in Estonia blasted plans to restore a monument dedicated to locals who fought for the Nazis against the Soviet Red Army.

The plaque at the site reads "to Estonian men who fought in 1940-1945 against Bolshevism and for the restoration of Estonian independence." It was installed in 2004.

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