Putin’s supporters: German far-right called Zelenskyy an “illegitimate” president 

For the third time since the beginning of the full-scale war, President Zelenskyy visited Berlin, and for the first time personally, with a historical speech, he addressed members of the Bundestag and thanked them for their support. Two pro-Russian parties staged a demarche by not showing up to the hall. 

Alternative for Germany (AfD) and eponymous populist Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW) newly created faction (previously the member of the left-wing Die Linke party) in the German parliament ignored Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address in the Bundestag and stated that “his term of office has expired,” thus echoing Putin’s propaganda. This was reported by n-tv.

“We refuse to listen to a speaker in camouflage,” said AfD national leaders Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla in a statement, referring to Zelenskyy’s signature wartime attire.

Art: Marian Kamensky

The demarche during Zelensky’s speech was the first such case in the Bundestag. He had previously spoken here in the first weeks after the Russian invasion in 2022 via a video link. The Ukrainian president had a similar experience in Austria. In 2023. The Austrian Freedom Party, the AfD’s related party, boycotted his speech in the Austrian parliament.

German “friends of Putin” were drunk with their electoral achievement

Both factions have an infamous reputation as “Putin’s friends,” but they hide behind slogans “for peace.” They say that although Ukraine is a victim of Russia’s attack, it does not want to negotiate with Moscow, is ready to drag the West into World War III, and therefore should not be supported anymore, especially militarily.

At the same time, under these slogans, both the AfD and the BSW performed relatively well in the European election. The AfD took 15.9 percent of the national vote in Germany, taking second place, while the BSW took 6.2 percent. For a party created less than six months ago, it’s nearly a sensation.

Apparently intoxicated by their success in the European Parliament elections, the parties are allowing themselves to demonstrate more openly than before their proximity in an anti-Ukrainian stance, repeating the theses of Russian propaganda, doubting Zelensky’s legitimacy, and making personal attacks on the Ukrainian leader.

Not all far-right MPs supported the boycott of Ukraine’s President

Albrecht Glaser, one of the founders of Alternative for Germany, remained in the Bundestag chamber during Zelensky’s speech. 

Along with three other colleagues in the faction, he did not support the boycott of the Ukrainian president’s speech.

“Zelensky talks about burned houses and dead people in cities, and suddenly you get a pang of conscience, and you realize how wrong your power is at this point in history,” commented journalist Gordon Repinski.

Russia is expected to continue spreading the narrative about Zelenskyy’s alleged illegitimacy; this is part of a wider network spreading Russian disinformation and propaganda.

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