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Russia Blasts Zelensky's Call to Shut Russians Out of the West

Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Russia has slammed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's proposal to ban all Russian travelers from going to the West, saying the measure would be unfeasible and counterproductive.

In a Washington Post interview published Monday, Zelensky called on Western countries to shut their borders to all Russian nationals — regardless of their stance on their country’s invasion of Ukraine — ahead of anticipated referendums that could see captured Ukrainian territories join Russia. 

Anti-war Russians slammed Zelensky’s proposal, warning it could backfire and consolidate Putin’s support base.

The Kremlin also criticized the Ukrainian leader’s calls as “off-the-charts irrationality.”

“Any attempts to isolate Russians or Russia is a process that has no prospects,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday, warning that Zelensky could “sooner or later” begin losing support in Europe.

In his latest inflammatory comments, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev compared Zelensky to Adolf Hitler.

“The chief clown of Ukraine suggested ‘holding the whole population of Russia responsible’,” Medvedev wrote in an English-language tweet Tuesday. 

“It was Adolf Hitler who last tried to apply such ideas to a people as a whole. Any questions remaining about the Ukrainian regime’s nature?” Medvedev said. 

The U.S. government has threatened additional sanctions on Russia if the planned referendums in Ukraine's Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions — which it describes as sham votes — are carried out. 

Leaders of European countries sharing land borders with Russia have stepped up their own calls for EU governments to stop issuing visas to Russians in recent days. 

The Kremlin has repeatedly claimed that it invaded Ukraine to defend itself from “fascists” which it baselessly says have taken over pro-Western Kyiv's government, despite Zelensky’s Jewish heritage.

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