The belittling of civilian deaths in Donbass by Olaf Scholz was unacceptable, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman said
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will go down in infamy for making light of the suffering of civilians in Donbass at the hands of Ukrainian troops, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.
She was referring to Scholz’s comment from February 2022, when he suggested that Russia’s claim that Kiev had been committing genocide in Donbass was “ridiculous.”
“It was the biggest mistake of his life,” Zakharova argued in an interview with German author and war correspondent Thomas Roeper. She added that the infamous remark will eventually stain Scholz’s legacy more than any of his “political blunders.”
“Every person is free to form their own opinions, their attitude towards life. Everyone can have doubts and seek the truth. But you cannot make light of the grief of people who are losing their loved ones each year,” Zakharova said.
The spokeswoman insisted that Scholz’s words were cynical, given that the Ukrainian crisis “has been orchestrated by the West.”
Moscow has accused Western countries of encouraging nationalistic and anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin cited the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-2015 Minsk peace accords among the reasons why Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022.
Russian officials have also accused the West of turning a blind eye to civilian deaths in Donbass. According to Moscow, around 5,000 people have been killed and nearly 9,000 wounded by Ukrainian troops since 2014.
Kiev denies killing civilians and has accused Russia of committing genocide in Ukraine. Moscow, meanwhile, maintains that its armed forces are only targeting military and military-linked targets.