The Trident Is Not a Nazi Symbol, but Part of the Ukrainian History



Drawing a parallel between Zelenskyy and Hitler is a classical manipulation in the spirit of Russian propaganda. All this is done to justify the Russian aggression of sovereign Ukraine which is ongoing for more than a year. Zelensky is Jewish – his grandfather and his three brothers were fighting against the Nazis. As a reminder, Ukraine banned the promotion of Nazism back in 2015


A post on the social network Facebook (screenshot here) is sharing a collage of photographs leading the readers to think that the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a Nazi, while the post itself claims that he is Hitler’s grandson. This is not true.

Those cheering for the Ukrainians… just wanted to let them know that they are cheering for Hitler’s grandson.
And you, Bartholomew, I can’t stop crying for you…
That’s all, states the post.

The post is sharing a collage of two photographs, one above the other. The top photo is from the meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew when a few days ago in Istanbul, they prayed together for the victims of the war with Russia at the Patriarchal Cathedral Saint George in Fanar. In the photo, the emblem on Zelenskyy’s t-shirt, the Ukrainian coat of arms – the trident, is circled. It has a long history, but at the same time, it is a symbol of a modern country. It reflects the heroic events from the past – and the Ukrainian warriors who protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine today.

The second photograph, which is black and white, apart from the swastika, also shows a man waving a flag with a symbol that looks like a trident. The search for the photograph did not produce clues about when it was taken and in which context, but also if it is a real photo or was produced with some artificial intelligence tool. What is already known is that the swastika is the symbol of Nazism, but also its official emblem. The swastika was displayed on their flags, uniforms, and other propaganda material. The swastika symbol was derived from ancient religious and cultural contexts, but, unfortunately, was adopted by the Nazis, and ever since it is widely related to the Nazi ideology of hatred and discrimination.

The trident has been related to Ukrainian history for a long time. It was the ancestral sign of the Rurik dynasty (10th -12th century, the times of Kyivan Rus’). Archaeologists still find coins, seals, utensils, bricks, and murals with the trident. In 1918, just after the Russian Empire’s collapse, the Ukrainian People’s Republic government approved the trident as a state coat of arms.

Since the days of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, the trident (tryzub) has become an important symbol for those who fought for Ukraine’s independence 100 years ago and those who protect it now.

Zelenskyy has a Jewish origin
The text of the post falsely claims that Zelenskyy is Hitler’s grandson. Absolutely no evidence is available for this claim. There is no written documentation that can substantiate this. The narrative connecting Zelenskyy with Hitler was launched by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, when he initiated a diplomatic dispute with Israel last year by claiming that “Hitler had Jewish blood” and that “some of the worst antisemites were Jews” in the attempt to confirm the alleged “denazification” of Ukraine efforts of Moscow.

Zelenskyy’s history, however, is completely different from these arbitrary claims. He is Jewish. His grandfather and his three brothers fought against the Nazis, a detail that he stressed in his speech directly addressing the Russian people on 24th February 2022. By presenting his own family history, he responded to the allegations of Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia will carry out “denazification” of Ukraine.

They say we are Nazis. But how can the people that lost 8 million lives fighting the Nazis support Nazism? How can I be a Nazi? Tell that to my grandfather who fought in the Second World War as s Soviet infantryman and died as a colonel in independent Ukraine. They tell you that we hate Russian culture. How can someone hate culture? Any culture? Neighbours always enrich each other’s culture, said Zelenskyy.

In January 2020, during the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in Israel, Zelenskyy revealed to the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, his family story about his grandfather and his three brothers.

The three of them – their parents and their families became victims of the Holocaust. All of them were shot by the German occupiers who attacked Ukraine. The fourth brother survived. … Two years after the war he had a son, and after 31 years he had a grandson. After another 40 years that grandson became President and is standing in front of you today, Mr. Prime Minister, Zelenskyy said.

It is not the first time that stories about Ukraine being a Nazi and fascist state, that Nazism is glorified in Ukraine (Neo-Nazism), as well as that Zelenskyy is a Nazi, to spread on social networks. All this is done for the purpose of justifying Russian aggression on a sovereign country that has been ongoing for more than a year. As a reminder, Ukraine banned the promotion of Nazism back in 2015.

Drawing a parallel between Zelenskyy and Hitler is a classical manipulation in the spirit of Russian propaganda. Hence, due to all of the above-noted facts we assess this post as untrue.


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