Putin Criticizes Europe for 'Russophobia' and Human Rights in the Baltics

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned Europe for what he termed as 'Russophobia,' or the fear caused by Russia, which has led to anti-Russia policies in several European countries, particularly amidst the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

Putin also criticized the Baltic countries for their enforcement of human rights during the inauguration of a World War II memorial on Saturday (27/1/2024).

Since sending Russian troops to Ukraine almost two years ago, Putin has compared the move to the struggle against the Nazis to rally his nation.

"The regime in Kyiv glorifies Hitler's minions, the SS... In several European countries, Russophobia is promoted as state policy," Putin said at the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the end of the Nazi siege, citing Reuters and CNA. Germany's aim at that time was to steal resources from the Soviet Union and annihilate its people, he claimed.

Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union and suffered devastation at the hands of Hitler's forces, rejected the comparison as a false pretext for conquest.

In his speech, Putin also criticized the Baltic countries for human rights abuses. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania - which were ruled from Moscow during the Cold War but are now members of the European Union and NATO military alliance - are among the harshest critics of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"In the Baltic states, tens of thousands of people are declared non-humans, deprived of their basic rights, and subjected to persecution," Putin said, referring to harsh actions against migrants. Moscow has repeatedly accused the Baltic states of xenophobia and treating Russian minorities as "second-class citizens."

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