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Slovakia defense minister to NYT: Putin ‘equal to Hitler’

Slovakia’s defense minister Jaroslav Nad called Russian President Vladimir Putin as “equal to Hitler” for his invasion of Ukraine, in an interview with The New York Times published Thursday.

Nad told the Times that Putin “is equal to Hitler” and he must be stopped in Ukraine before he can make moves towards the West. “Ukraine is literally fighting for our future,” he added.

Slovakia, a nation that for decades was under the Soviet yoke as part of Czechoslovakia, shares a border with Ukraine and has been among the most vociferous Eastern European governments in criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It also has opened its doors to refugees fleeing from the war-torn country.

According to the Slovak Interior Ministry, the country has been offering temporary shelter to all Ukrainian refugees arriving in the country since March 1.

Nad called Slovakia “a frontline state” in the ongoing war in the Times interview, and said more than 330,000 Ukrainians have made their way to the country.

Slovakia has also been in talks allow Bratislava to send fighter jets to Ukraine, according to Politico Europe. Last month, Slovakia’s prime minister Eduard Heger said that the country had transferred the Soviet-era missile defense system to Ukraine in exchange for an American Patriot missile system in order to help the country defend against Russian strikes.  

Nad added that before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine it would have been “unthinkable” for Slovakia to send large quantities of weapons to the country free of charge or even transfer the S-300 air defense systems to repel Russian strikes.

“The paradigm is completely different now,” he told the Times.

His comments come as President Biden said Tuesday that Putin has committed acts of genocide in Ukraine, after his administration previously determined Russia is committing war crimes.

Tags Hitler Russia-Ukraine war Slovakia Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin

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