Russian security forces announced the arrest of 61-year-old Mikhail Kavun. This person, of Jewish ethnity, confessed to having financed, between 2015 and 2019, the Ukrainian banderite group, Pravy Sector, noted for advocating racial hatred, torture and incitement to murder.

Numerous Russian sources have recounted the history of the Jewish-banderites (Zhidobandera), a term that first cropped up in the USSR in 1981. This group of violently anti-Russian Jews supported the banderites, to avoid being the target of their anti-Semitism.

This affair comes after the face-off between Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Israeli government [1]. According to the office of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Vladimir Putin presented his apologies to him, something that the Kremlin has not confirmed [2].

Mr. Lavrov had evoked the participation of Jews in Nazi crimes, which Jewish figures interpreted as making light of those crimes. Such participation, although extremely marginal, remains the most deep-seated taboo among Jewish communities.

[1Lavrov challenges Community definition of anti-Semitism”, Voltaire Network, 3 May 2022.

[2Vladimir Putin’s telephone conversation with Naftali Bennett”, Voltaire Network, 5 May 2022.