A video shared widely on social media Thursday purportedly shows elderly Ukrainian Jews who identify themselves as Holocaust survivors making impassioned pleas for peace from a bomb shelter in Kyiv. Recalling their experiences in Ukraine's capital during the Second World War, they demand that Russian President Vladimir Putin remove his forces from Ukraine and stop his artillery barrage on the country, repeating in unison "We want peace!"
CBS News cannot independently verify the video, which had been seen almost 1 million times after being tweeted by retired U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, former director for European affairs of the U.S. National Security Council.
"Holocaust survivors in a bomb-shelter in Ukraine, cursing Putin and asking for peace," Vindman labeled the clip.
One of the elderly women in the video identifies herself as Lukash Tamara Oleksiivna. She says she was born in 1939 and lived in Kyiv before World War II started. She describes the current bombardment of the city as "a horror."
"Putin, I wish for you to die. Leave us, you b*****d," she says to the person recording the video, before everyone in the shelter chants, "We want peace!"
All three of the speakers in the video say their relatives were killed in the 1941 Babyn Yar massacre, when Nazi forces murdered 34,000 Jews on the outskirts of Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, called a Russian missile strike that hit the Babyn Yar memorial this week "beyond humanity."
Putin has invoked the horrors of the Holocaust to justify his invasion of Ukraine, claiming his goal is to "demilitarize" and "denazify" the country.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Zelensky of allowing "a society where neo-Nazism is flourishing," suggesting fascists were "marching openly" in Ukraine.
While Russian-backed separatists have fought Ukrainian troops in the country's east since Putin last invaded in 2014, there have been no credible reports to back up Russia's claims that Ukraine has committed atrocities against ethnic Russians in the region.
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