Poland PM: Vladimir Putin is 'more dangerous than Hitler or Stalin'

Vladimir Putin is ‘more dangerous than Hitler or Stalin’, Poland’s prime minister warns as he calls for the Russian leader’s ‘monstrous ideology’ to be wiped out

  • Mateusz Morawiecki said Vladimir Putin has ‘deadlier weapons at his disposal’
  • In addition, he said, Putin has access to the internet to spread his propaganda
  • The Polish PM said the world must root out and eradicate Putin’s ideology
  • If it doesn’t he warned, Putin will not stop his assault on Europe in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin is more dangerous than Hitler or Stalin, Poland’s prime minister warned on Wednesday, as he called for the Russian tyrant’s ‘monstrous ideology’ to be wiped out.

Mateusz Morawiecki said Putin has ‘deadlier weapons at his disposal’ than the 20th-century dictators – likely referring to Putin’s nuclear arsenal – and added that he also has use of the internet to spread his propaganda.

The web has been ‘infected… with millions of instances of fake news’, Mr Morawiecki said, writing for the Daily Telegraph. He said the world must see ‘deputinisation’.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (pictured speaking in April) said Putin has ‘deadlier weapons at his disposal’ than the 20th-century dictators, in addition to the use of the internet to spread his propaganda

‘Putin’s ‘Russkiy Mir’ (Russian World) ideology is the equivalent of 20th-century communism and Nazism,’ he wrote. ‘It is an ideology through which Russia justifies invented rights and privileges for its country.’

This ideology, the Polish Prime Minister said, poses a threat to not only Ukraine – but the whole of Europe – and must be ‘rooted out entirely’.

Mr Morawiecki pointed to Putin’s Victory Day speech on Monday – which saw the Russian leader speak during a parade to mark the end of the Second World War.

During the parade – with the usual ballistic missiles and tanks rumbling across the cobblestones – Putin told Russians they were again fighting ‘Nazis’, a common line of Russian propaganda to justify the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

‘You are fighting for the Motherland, for its future, so that no one forgets the lessons of World War Two. So that there is no place in the world for executioners, castigators and Nazis,’ Putin said. 

Mr Morawiecki said that Putin ‘once again presented to the world the mythology of the Russian victory over Nazism,’ but ignored the decades of turmoil brought about by the Soviet Union in many eastern European countries after the war.

Now, he said, Putin has ushered in a new era of Russian imperialism and is spreading propaganda that ‘describes the aggression against Ukraine as an operation to ‘denzify’ the country.’

He accused the West of ignoring the growing threat that has seen Putin be allowed to foster ideologies that are similar to ’20th-century communism and Nazism’.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Victory Day military parade in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, 09 May 2022. During the parade – with the usual ballistic missiles and tanks rumbling across the cobblestones – Putin told Russians they were again fighting ‘Nazis’, a common line of Russian propaganda to justify the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday that Putin has ‘deadlier weapons at his disposal’ than the 20th-century dictators Stalin (left) and Hitler (right)

‘Putin is neither Hitler nor Stalin. Unfortunately, he is more dangerous,’ Morawiecki said. ‘If Europe does to stop him, Putin will march Russian forces further into Europe, he warned. ‘It’s up to us to decide where we stop [Russia],’ he wrote.

Poland, which shared a border with Ukraine, has been one of the most vocal countries about the need to support Kyiv in its military fightback against Russia.

The country has also taken in millions of Ukrainian refugees since Putin ordered his invasion of February 24. 

Morawiecki’s article in the Telegraph came as US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines also warned that Putin will not end his so-called special military operation in Ukraine in the eastern Donbas region.

She warned Putin could make a play for the breakaway region of Transnistria in Ukraine’s neighbour to the west, Moldova – and block Ukraine off from the sea.

‘We assess President Putin is preparing for prolonged conflict in Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas,’ Haines told a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

She also said Putin could order martial law in Russia to support his ambitions in Ukraine but will use nuclear weapons only if he considers Russia faces an ‘existential threat’.

Ukraine said on Tuesday its forces had recaptured villages from Russian troops north and northeast of the city of Kharkiv, pressing a counter-offensive that could signal a shift in the war’s momentum and jeopardise Russia’s main advance.

Ukrainian troops in recent days recaptured four settlements north of Ukraine’s second-largest city, said Tetiana Apatchenko, a press officer with the main Ukrainian force in the area.

In his speech, Putin steered clear of battlefield specifics, failing to mention the potentially pivotal battle for the vital southern port of Mariupol and not even uttering the word ‘Ukraine’

A tank of the DPR army moves on the road during several dozen Ukrainian civilians, who had been living in the bomb shelters of the Azovstal plant for more than a month, being evacuated in Mariupol, Ukraine on May 06, 2022

President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Ukrainian successes were gradually pushing Russian forces out of Kharkiv in the country’s northeast, which has been under perpetual bombardment since the war began.

‘But I also want to urge all our people… not to spread excessive emotions. We should not create an atmosphere of excessive moral pressure, where victories are expected weekly and even daily,’ Zelensky said in a video address.

But the counterattack near Kharkiv could signal a new phase, with Ukraine now going on the offensive after weeks in which Russia mounted a massive assault without making a breakthrough.

By pushing back Russian forces who had occupied the outskirts of Kharkiv since the start of the invasion, the Ukrainians are moving into striking distance of the rear supply lines sustaining the main Russian attack force further south.

‘Ukrainians are getting close to the Russian border. So all the gains that the Russians made in the early days in the northeast of Ukraine are increasingly slipping away,’ said Neil Melvin of the RUSI think-tank in London.

Since Russia was forced to abandon an assault on the capital Kyiv at the end of March, its main force has been trying to encircle Ukrainian troops in the Donbas, using the city of Izyum south of Kharkiv as a base. 

Ukrainian troops have so far mostly held out against assaults from three directions.

But by pushing back near Kharkiv, Ukraine could now force Moscow to switch to trying to defend its own long supply lines to Izyum. Western military analysts said there were signs the counter-attack was already sapping Russia’s advance.

‘Our assessment is that they’re (Russians) having to pull some forces away from the axes leading to the control of the Donbas region because of what has happened in Kharkiv, and it just underscores the challenges they have,’ said retired U.S. General Jack Keane, now chairman of the Institute for the Study of War think tank.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the military parade during 77th anniversary of the Victory Day in Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 09, 2022

Pictured: Destroyed Russian military vehicles, taken out by Ukrainian forces defending Kyiv and now pictured dumped outside Bucha in a makeshift ‘tank graveyard’

A mural showing Hitler, Putin and Stalin ‘No more time’ created by graffiti artist Tuse, is sprayed on a wall n Gdansk, northern Poland, 22 March 2022

In the south, Russian forces were again pummelling the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, trying to capture the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the ruined city where Ukraine says tens of thousands of people have died under two months of Russian siege.

Scores of civilians have been evacuated from the steelworks in recent days, but an aide to Mariupol’s mayor, Petro Andryushchenko, said at least 100 still remained inside.

Ukraine’s Azov Regiment, holding out in Azovstal, said in a social media post that in the past 24 hours, 34 Russian aircraft had flown over the plant including eight sorties by strategic bombers. 

It said the plant had come under fire from the Russian navy and from tanks, artillery and rockets. Reuters was unable to verify the situation.

In Odesa, firefighters battled blazes until the early hours of Tuesday after seven Russian missiles hit a shopping centre and depot on Monday. One person was killed and five people were injured, Ukraine’s armed forces said.

Ukraine said its armed forces in the Donbas on Tuesday destroyed 12 Russian tanks and 19 armoured vehicles and shot down three aircraft. 

In the Donbas’ Luhansk region, Russian forces were shelling all routes out of the area, which has lost power, water and gas, regional governor Serhit Haidai said.

‘We are trying to restore mobile phone communications. Evacuation is quite impossible. We cannot take that risk,’ Haidai said. 

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