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Zelensky says ‘evil’ returned to Europe on victory anniversary

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that "evil has returned" to Europe, comparing Russia's invasion to Nazi Germany during an address commemorating World War II.

This handout picture taken and released by the Ukrainian president press service on May 8, 2022 shows Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) and Croatia’s Prime minister Andrej Plenkovic meeting in Kyiv. (Photo by UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that “evil has returned” to Europe, comparing Russia’s invasion to Nazi Germany during an address commemorating World War II.

“Decades after World War II, darkness has returned to Ukraine, and it has become black and white again,” Zelensky said in a video address, in which he was filmed standing in front of destroyed residential buildings.

“Evil has returned, in a different uniform, under different slogans, but for the same purpose,” he added, in the video showing archive footage of World War II and black and white footage of Russia’s invasion.

The Ukrainian leader accused Russia of implementing a “bloody reconstruction of Nazism,” in his country using “its ideas actions, words and symbols.”

He said Moscow’s army was replicating Nazi “atrocities” and giving justification that “aims to give this evil a sacred purpose.”

Zelensky appealed to European nations including the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands, by likening Nazi bombings of their towns and cities to Russian strikes on urban hubs in Ukraine.

Ex-Soviet Ukraine was invaded by Russia in late February and Moscow claimed its operation was in part to “de-Nazify” the country.

Both Ukraine and Russia have likened actions by the other side’s army to those of Nazi Germany, whose defeat by the Soviet Union in 1945 is celebrated in ex-Soviet countries on May 9.

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed in an address that “as in 1945, victory will be ours” congratulating former Soviet nations on the 77th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat.