NBC’s Richard Engel mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that he planned to carry out the “de-Nazification” of Ukraine after Russian strikes hit the site of a Ukrainian Holocaust memorial.
According to a report from Ukrainian officials, five were killed and five more were injured when Russian forces fired on the Kyiv TV Tower — briefly disrupting television channels before backup systems came online — and also hit the Babi Yar memorial.
According to a report from the Associated Press:
Holocaust remembrance organizations in Israel are condemning a Russian attack that inflicted damage to the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid issued a statement denouncing the incident, and said Israel would help repair any damage. “We are calling for the preservation and respect for this sacred site,” he said in a tweet that did not mention Russia by name.
The memorial is the site of a massacre of more than 33,000 Jews by Nazi Germany in 1941. It is located on the outskirts of Kyiv and adjacent to the city’s TV tower, where Ukrainian authorities said a Russian attack killed five people.
A spokesman for the memorial said that damage was caused to the Jewish cemetery at the site, but that assessing the full extent of the damage would have to wait until daylight.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack in a tweet, saying, “To the world: what is the point of saying «never again» for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar? At least 5 killed. History repeating…”
To the world: what is the point of saying «never again» for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar? At least 5 killed. History repeating…
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 1, 2022
Engel pointed out the fact that, just days earlier, Putin had claimed the invasion of Ukraine was aimed at the “de-Nazification” of the neighboring country and explained just how ridiculous that looked to the rest of the world.
“Now you have Russia attacking next to [Babi Yar], claiming to be carrying out a de-Nazification campaign, killing at least five people in a country with a Jewish president. So much for that de-Nazification campaign,” Engel said.
Anchor Andrea Mitchell agreed, calling it an “outrageous irony.”
CNN anchor Jake Tapper also commented on the absurdity of the claim juxtaposed with that attack, tweeting, “What better way for Putin to prove his ridiculous claims of ‘denazification’ than by attacking a country with a popularly elected Jewish president followed by bombing a Holocaust memorial.”
Even prior to the attack, critics had called out Putin’s assertion that Ukraine was a “Nazi” country. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer tweeted, “In his attempt to justify the unjustifiable, #Russia’s assault on #Ukraine, Putin referred to a fictional genocide & set goal of ‘denazification of Ukraine,’ a country that overwhelmingly elected a Jew president. Goebbels & Hitler would have been impressed.”
In his attempt to justify the unjustifiable, #Russia's assault on #Ukraine, Putin referred to a fictional genocide & set goal of "denazification of Ukraine," a country that overwhelmingly elected a Jew president.
Goebbels & Hitler would have been impressed.
— Steven Pifer (@steven_pifer) February 24, 2022