Putin and the Rabbis
When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union tens of thousands of Ukrainians (particularly from western Ukraine or Galicia) flocked to his banner in their eagerness to throw off the Soviet yoke. Over the next couple of years most of them deserted or faded into the background as they began to realize that Hitler was every bit as much anti-Ukrainian as he was anti-Russian. Unfortunately a significant number of Ukrainians remained in the Nazi orbit and quite a few were complicit in war crimes and many more were executed by partisans at the end of the war as Nazi collaborators.
So when Putin rants about the Nazi collaborators in Kyiv and Lviv there’s a grain of truth in his allegations. But he conveniently neglects to take into consideration the fact that the Nazi sympathisers were a tiny minority. It’s rather like the 5-6,000 Doukhobors who came to Sask in 1898-99 from the Caucasus. A few of them (probably no more than 400) belonged to an extremist sect called the Sons of Freedom who believed in nude marches and torching schools, etc. Yet the average Canadian remembers only them rather than the peaceable majority.
Putin’s recent photo-op with a couple of rabbis was beyond the pale. He attempted to use them to paint the Ukrainians as anti-Semitic zealots, but while Ukraine is far from blameless the Russians and their pogroms are much the worse offenders.
I hope the Ukrainians are going to be able to hang on. But if Putin wants to he could neutralize Ukraine in about 2 weeks. I pray it doesn’t happen.