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Denazification (German: Entnazifizierung) was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of the Nazi ideology following the Second World War. It was carried out by removing those who had been Nazi Party or SS members from positions of power and influence, by disbanding or rendering impotent the organizations associated with Nazism, and by trying prominent Nazis for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials of 1946. The program of denazification was launched after the end of the war and was solidified by the Potsdam Agreement in August 1945. The term denazification was first coined as a legal term in 1943 by the U.S. Pentagon, intended to be applied in a narrow sense with reference to the post-war German legal system.

On 24 February 2022, Vladimir Putin spoke in "On conducting a special military operation" of "denazification" as the objective of the Russian special operations in Ukraine, going on to describe modern-day Ukraine as a "neo-Nazi" state with genocide of Russian speakers in the country. Putin has repeatedly described Ukraine as being governed by neo-Nazis and "Banderites".


  • The goal of our actions is to save people by fulfilling our allied obligations, as well as to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine so that such things never happen again.
    • Sergey Lavrov, "Russian actions aim to save people, demilitarize, denazify Ukraine – Lavrov". TASS. March 1, 2022.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday warned that Ukraine must meet Moscow’s demand for “demilitarization” and “denazification,” as well as the removal of the military threat to Russia, otherwise “the Russian army (will) solve the issue."... The reference to “denazification” comes from Russia’s allegations that the Ukrainian government is heavily influenced by radical nationalist and neo-Nazi groups.
    • Moscow says Ukraine must ‘denazify, demilitarize’ or onslaught will go on, E. Eduardo Castillo, Times of Israel, December 27, 2022

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