Vladimir Putin is a devoted booster of the Russian Orthodox Church, but these days he sort of feels like a Jew, according to a speech he gave this Friday in Moscow.
Putin was disputing claims that the Russian government interfered in the American election when he compared the slew of accusations to anti-Semitism. “It’s like saying everything is the Jews’ fault,” he fumed, likening the investigation into Russia to the irrational hatred of Jews.
The self-pitying Russian leader has some chutzpah. Just the other day he hinted at the fact (confirmed by American intelligence agencies) that Russians helped destabilize the election by hacking the Democratic National Committee and the e-mails of Hillary Clinton confidant John Podesta.
Putin has helped expand the role of the Russian Orthodox church in his country’s life, befriending clerical leaders and pushing conservative social policies, like the so-called “gay propaganda law” prohibiting queer people from publicly manifesting their identities. He’s also friendly with Chabad leaders in Russia.
Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.
Putin: U.S. Russia Election Probe Like Anti-Semitism