A Russian politician has appealed to the country’s prosecutor’s office after TV host Vladimir Solovyov called Adolf Hitler a “very brave man” when comparing the Nazi German leader to jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny.
Following Solovyov’s statement, Communist party MP Valery Rashkin asked the authorities to investigate whether the TV host had broken the law. Russia has stringent restrictions against what it calls the ‘rehabilitation of Nazism’.
“Hitler was personally a very brave man,” Solovyov said. “In contrast to this Codpiece-Führer [Navalny], he didn’t dodge the army. He fought, and fought valiantly during World War I.”
Solovyov is the anchor of one of Russia’s most popular TV talk shows and a highly controversial figure. He is openly supportive of President Vladimir Putin, and has been called a propagandist many times by Western media.
The host also compared Navalny to Otto Skorzeny, the high-profile SS officer who eventually went to work for Israel’s Mossad before his death in 1975.
Solovyov’s words were not well-received on social media, with many drawing parallels with Navalny’s current legal battle against the charge of defaming a World War II veteran by calling him a traitor.
In response, Solovyov denied the accusations.
“He’s just a liar,” he said, speaking about Rashkin. “Listen to the full text. If you want, I’ll send it to you. There is not even [anything] close to… justification of Nazism.”
According to the 2014 Law Against Rehabilitation of Nazism, endorsing the crimes established by the Nuremberg Trials carries a maximum sentence of five years.
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