Yevgen Korniychuk
Yevgen KorniychukAvshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash 90

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, on Friday blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin, who lashed out at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and claimed that that "Zelenskyy is not even Jewish".

Speaking to i24NEWS, Korniychuk said that Ukraine’s government expects a condemnation from the Israeli government, adding that Putin's provocative language represents a calculated attack, launched just as Ukraine's first lady is set to visit Israel.

Moreover, the Ambassador added, such rhetoric could have a real impact on the visit.

“We do believe it’s a pure provocation from the Russia leadership that has been made before the visit of the First Lady [Olena] Zelenska. It’s antisemitic," Korniychuk told i24NEWS. "I believe that most of Jews around the world are proud of Zelensky as a leader who is defending his country and fighting for freedom. We expect condemnation from Israeli government. “

Ask whether there were any official responses from Ukrainian officials regarding the potential impact on Zelenska's visit, Korniychuk offered what he said was "his personal opinion."

“It’s my personal opinion, but I do believe that it could lead to the cancellation or delay of the First Lady visit,” he said.

The comments came hours after Putin, during a conference, was asked why he continues to call Zelenskyy a "Nazi".

"I have many Jewish friends since childhood. They say Zelenskyy is not a Jew – he is a disgrace to the Jewish people," the Russian President responded.

This is not the first time that Russian leaders have caused an uproar in relation to Zelenskyy being Jewish, as Moscow has repeatedly sought to frame its invasion of Ukraine as an effort to “denazify” the country.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov came under fire last May when he said that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood.

In an interview with an Italian news channel, Lavrov referred to the fact that Zelenskyy is Jewish and said, “In my opinion, Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it doesn’t mean absolutely anything. For some time we have heard from the Jewish people that the biggest antisemites were Jewish.”

Zelenskyy said in response that Lavrov’s comments show that Moscow "has forgotten all the lessons of World War II or perhaps never learned them."

In January of this year, Lavrov again made headlines as he compared the United States’ and the West's approach to Russia with the Nazis’ effort to eradicate the Jewish people during the Holocaust.

“They are waging war against our country with the same task: the ‘final solution’ of the Russian question,” Lavrov said, adding, “Just as Hitler wanted a ‘final solution’ to the Jewish question, now, if you read Western politicians … they clearly say Russia must suffer a strategic defeat.”

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)