Putin propagandist says ‘gulags nicer than Hitler’s Nazi concentration camps’

A Kremlin propagandist dubbed "Putin's voice" claimed Soviet gulags were better than Nazi concentration camps.

Vladimir Solovyov took to Russian state TV to share the controversial views, which have since raised eyebrows in the West.

TV presenter Solovyov said: "In Soviet labour camps, they knew your name, and under which law you were imprisoned.

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"You were an individual. In German concentration camps, you had no individuality."

He added that the "goal of the Soviet camp was to re-educate," while Nazi concentration camps "had the goal of destroying you as a person and then to break you down into parts."

Continuing his controversial speech, Solovyov said Ukrainians were "walking down the same path" as the Nazis did in the 1930s and 40s.

"Now, the descendants of the Nazi idea in Europe talk about us as orcs, talk about us as the citizens of Russia, all of whom have to bear the responsibility," he added.

"They're walking down the same path, they don't see us as individuals. They don't see us as people. Dehumanization. Denial of our right to be ourselves."

This, he claimed on the TV show, was the "main difference between us and them."

"Ukraine that is diseased with Nazism doesn't see us as a people," he said, adding that the Russians still "pity them".

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"We still count them as ours, but lost with their heads not screwed on right. We hate the sin, but not the sinner.

"This is why we will win because we see the people. We fight for their souls," he added.

News outlet Newsweek reportedly contacted Solovyov but said he could not immediately be reached for further comment.

Soviet gulags were created under Communist leader Vladimir Lenin but were most commonly used under the rule of Joseph Stalin.

It is estimated that up to 18m people were imprisoned in the cruel camps while at least 1.5m people died, some having been worked to death while others were executed.

Solovyov's claims gained attention on Twitter after a clip of his TV appearance was reposted by creator of the Russian Media Monitor and Daily Beast columnist Julia Davis.

She wrote alongside the clip that the "latest propaganda assignment seems to be 'Everything is better in Russia.'

"Propagandists are taking turns giving examples. Without a hint of irony, host Vladimir Solovyov explained why Soviet Gulags were better than German concentration camps."

BBC broadcaster John Simpson responded to the clip, tweeting: "Poor old Vladimir Solovyov gets loonier by the day on Russian TV," Simpson wrote in a tweet. "Maintaining that the appalling Soviet-era Gulags were somehow morally better than Nazi concentration camps is probably an argument best avoided."

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