Ukraine Shares Cartoon of Hitler Comforting Putin Amid Invasion

Ukraine's official Twitter account shared on Thursday morning a cartoon depicting Adolf Hitler and Russian President Vladimir Putin smiling fondly at each other, not long after Russia began invading the country.

The cartoon shows the German dictator leaning down to comfort Putin, putting his hand on the Russian president's cheek. "This is not a 'meme' but our and your reality right now," Ukraine's Twitter account said in a second tweet.

The cartoon comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy compared Russia to Nazi Germany after Putin ordered a "special military operation" in Ukraine late Wednesday evening. The cartoon also follows Putin's accusation that Ukraine was run by Nazis, which he made when he announced Russia would take military action against the Eastern European country.

"Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in [World War II] years," Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter. "As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history."

The Russian president said that Russia "will strive for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine," but Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, blasted accusations that his country is linked to Nazism.

Speaking to the Russian public, he said, "The Ukraine on your news and Ukraine in real life are two completely different countries—and the main difference between them is: Ours is real.

"You are told we are Nazis. But could a people who lost more than 8 million lives in the battle against Nazism support Nazism?" the Ukrainian president asked, according to Politico Europe.

Zelenskyy has said that three of his grandfather's brothers were killed during the Holocaust, Politico reported.

"How can I be a Nazi? Explain it to my grandfather, who went through the entire war in the infantry of the Soviet army and died a colonel in an independent Ukraine," Zelenskyy said in his address.

Ukrainian officials said Russian troops have attacked at least 10 regions of the country following Putin's declaration of Russian military action.

Videos shared on social media Thursday showed Russian attack helicopters in Ukrainian airspace or approaching Ukraine. The commander in chief of Ukraine's armed forces said Ukraine had shot down five Russian aircraft and two helicopters.

Ukrainian armed forces report that at least 40 soldiers have been killed in Russia's attack so far, the Associated Press said.

Russia's attack has been condemned by world leaders. President Joe Biden called it "unprovoked and unjustified" late Wednesday evening. "President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering," he said in a statement.

"Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way," Biden added.

Update 02/24/2022, 11:50 p.m. ET: This story was updated with additional information and background.

Ukraine Shares Cartoon Of Hitler Comforting Putin
Ukraine's Twitter account has a cartoon depicting Adolf Hitler with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Above, Putin speaks during an address to the nation on February 21. Alexey Nikolsky