Russia Protests German Official's Comparison of Putin to Hitler

'This pseudo-historical remark is a provocation,' says Russian Foreign Ministry, giving the German ambassador to Moscow a piece of its mind.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin at the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in the Novgorod Region, Russia.Credit: AP

Russia summoned Germany's ambassador to Moscow for a dressing down following the German finance minister's likening of Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.

"This pseudo-historical remark is a provocation," the Russian Foreign Ministry stated. "His comparison is a crude manipulation of historical fact."

On Monday German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble compared the Russian president to the Nazi fuehrer in connection with Russia's recent takeover of Crimea.

"Hitler already adopted such methods in Sudetenland," Schaeuble said during a lecture to students visiting his office in Berlin. "That's something that we all know from history."

Schaeuble was referring to Russia's justifications for invading Crimea, specifically the argument that the Russian citizens on the peninsula were under threat. In 1938, the Nazis claimed they were protecting the volksdeutsche (German people) who lived in Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, on the border with Germany.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel took exception to Schaeuble's remark, as did other members of her government.