Republicans Vivek Ramaswamy, a presidential candidate, called Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the controversial president of Ukraine, a “Nazi” and a “comedian in cargo pants.”
In the course of the NBC News Republican debate, Ramaswamy was questioned about his stance on continuing to provide massive amounts of aid and finance to Ukraine.
During his time on stage, the Republican candidate responded by attacked Zelenskyy personally and claimed that Ukraine is not a real democracy.
“Ukraine is not a paragon of democracy. This is a country that has banned 11 opposition parties. It has consolidated all media into one state TV media arm. That’s not Democratic. It is threatening not to hold elections this year unless the U.S. forks over more money. That is not democratic,” Ramaswamy said to the debate audience.
“It has celebrated a Nazi in its ranks. The comedian in cargo pants, a man called Zelenskyy, doing it in their own ranks. That is not democratic. Those are the hard facts and sort of framed this as some kind of battle between good versus evil. Don’t buy it.” he continued.
Later on, Ramaswamy’s team said that he was alluding to, among other things, Yaroslav Hunka, a former Nazi from Ukraine who Zelenskyy had praised in Canada back in September.