Photo from UNIAN, Viacheslav Ratynskyi
The level of anti-Semitism in Ukraine is the lowest compared to any European country, says President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Speaking with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Zelensky addressed the journalist's question about "certain propaganda" spun about Ukraine, claiming that the country is an "anti-Semitic, fascist" state, the President's Office reported.
"I believe that I am the result and the answer that there is no anti-Semitism in Ukraine, that it is at the lowest level," the president said, hinting at himself being a Jew.
"Because there are no perfect forms, there are no perfect people," Zelensky added. "But it is a fact that anti-Semitism in Ukraine is at the lowest level compared to any European country."
Read also The Jewish community of Ukraine thanked all organizers of the Rosh Hashanah celebration in Uman I believe that I am the answer. I know that anti-Semitism was the case in the Soviet Union, it is true. I know stories about my relatives, my father – people were afraid of it, yes, it was the case. But in modern, independent Ukraine, all this has changed a lot. That's why I don't think we have it. Sometimes there are provocations, but it happens everywhere," the president emphasized.
The president also dwelled on the tragic story of his family in Soviet times.
He said from his paternal grandfather's family only his grandfather survived. Everyone else was killed.
"My grandfather, despite at a very young age, went to war in the ranks of the Soviet Army. His elder brothers were also conscripted, and all of them, except my grandfather, perished as soldiers," Zelensky said.
"Everyone else from this part of my family was executed because they were Jews. Children as well. My grandmother and her younger sister were evacuated to Uzbekistan. And her father also fought and returned from the war alive," Zelensky told the German newspaper.
Translation: Yevgeny Matyushenko