Did Putin Really Apologize? Probably Not

Sergey Lavrov

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently released a statement claiming that Putin had apologized for repugnant statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about Jews, Hitler, and the Holocaust, during a phone call that took place on Israel’s Holocaust Day. The Russian summary of the phone call, however, mentioned no such apology. That has led some analysts to the conclusion that the apology never took place.

With Bennett’s government hanging by a thread, it would have looked good if the Russian leader had considered Bennett important enough to warrant a phone call in response to Lavrov’s gross comments. That may be why Bennett suggested as much in his government press release. Unfortunately, the opposite seems to be true. Putin has no intention of apologizing for Lavrov’s comments—he likely suggested the content of those comments himself:

How can there be Nazism in Ukraine if [Zelenskyy] is a Jew? I may be mistaken but Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood, too. This means absolutely nothing. The wise Jewish people say that the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews.