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Moscow accuses Berlin of ‘Russophobic hysteria’ on anniversary of Nazi invasion

Russia on Wednesday accused Germany of anti-Russian sentiment in a statement on the anniversary of the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi troops in 1941 as tensions rage over Ukraine.

“Russophobic hysteria is systematically fuelled by almost daily public attacks against our country by members of the German government,” Russia’s foreign ministry said.

It said authorities in Berlin “have recently been undermining the process of historical reconciliation between Russians and Germans” after World War II.

Berlin “jeopardises the results of the efforts made by Russia and Germany for decades to overcome post-war enmity, hostility and distrust between the peoples of our countries,” the ministry said.

It said “the anti-Russian propaganda campaign” has provoked “unmotivated aggression bordering on mass psychosis” against Russians and Russian speakers in Germany.

The ministry also accused NATO member Germany of building up its military presence near Russia’s western borders, “bringing to mind the most bitter periods of Russian-German relations for our people, including the events preceding May 1945”.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider outside the Kremlin wall in Moscow to mark the day World War II started for Russia.

Tensions between Moscow and Berlin have soared after Germany condemned Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, joining international sanctions on Moscow and supplying weapons to Kyiv.

Last week Russia’s energy giant Gazprom slashed gas supplies to Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline, citing delayed repairs, a move Berlin called an “economic attack”.