A Russian missile strike in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv killed a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor on Friday.
Borys Romanchenko’s death was confirmed in a Twitter thread by the Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial Institute.
“As we learned from his loved ones, our friend Boris Romanchenko, who survived the Nazi camps #Buchenwald , #Peenemünde , #Dora and #BergenBelsen , was killed last Friday in a bomb blast at his home in #Харькове . We are deeply disturbed,” a statement reads.
The institute’s tweets also contained photographs of Ramanchenko in front of the camp where he was detained by the Nazis.
Romanchenko’s granddaughter described how her grandfather was hit by a shell while living in a multi-story apartment building.
Romanchenko was the vice-president of the Buchenwald-Dora International Committee,
Putin Appeals to Anti-Nazi Sentiment
The attack raises questions about Russia’s false claim that the Ukrainian government and society generally are influenced heavily by neo-Nazis.
Building on Ukraine’s Azov Batallion, a neo-Nazi volunteer militia that opposes the Kremlin and was previously a paramilitary unit of the Ukrainian National Guard, the Russian president has sought to gain sympathy for his invasion of Ukraine. Speaking at a rally of tens of thousands of Russians at a Moscow stadium on Friday, Vladimir Putin appeared in front of banners that read, “For a world without Nazism.”
Putin gave a speech to the crowd, pushing baseless claims that the Ukrainian government is influenced by neo-Nazis and that his “special military operation” was designed to prevent a “genocide” in Ukraine.
So far, Putin’s appeal to Europe and the West’s obvious dislike of Nazism has failed to win people over.
Russian Troops Continue to Attack Residential Buildings
While the death of Romanchenko was not orchestrated, he would not have died had Russian soldiers not targeted residential buildings.
The continued shelling of apartment buildings and hospitals in Ukraine has prompted an expedited inquiry by the International Criminal Court at the Hague into possible war crime violations.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.