MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. Neo-Nazism may exist all around the world but Ukraine is the only country glorifying it, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a video conference meeting with the finalists of the Teacher of the Year national contest on Wednesday.
"Perhaps, there would have been no conflict today had certain forces in Ukraine and the West refrained from trying to correct history and tear history apart, had they refrained from glorifying those who had collaborated with Hitler, with the German Nazis, and trying to revive neo-Nazism on our historic lands," he pointed out.
"I often engage in debate with my colleagues, including those from Europe, who say: ‘Well, there are some elements of neo-Nazism but don’t we have them, too? There are some neo-Nazis in Russia as there are here in European countries’," Putin noted. "The difference is that although the evil seeds of neo-Nazism, the neo-Nazi ideas of glorifying yourself while humiliating others and trying to destroy them can probably be found all around the world, I don’t know any country except today’s Ukraine where such people are viewed as national heroes," the Russian president stressed.
"Indeed, there are neo-Nazis in Paris, some neo-Nazis must be hiding somewhere in Moscow, but we persecute them, we fight against it. As for Ukraine, it’s the other way around as they are glorified there, they are raised to a pedestal, they are allowed to hold thousand-strong torchlight processions in downtown areas of the largest cities," the Russian leader noted.
"It’s strange that the so-called West takes no note of it though I think that they see everything but they simply seek to use every tool they can against us," Putin said. He added that "the situation was the same in the mid-1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, when [the West] was supporting international terrorists" fighting in Russia.