Russian TV host compares Israeli actions to Nazi atrocities, Gaza war to Holocaust in wild on-air rant

Gasparyan’s show is wildly popular on Solovyov Live, a channel run by Russian TV presenter and propagandist Vladimir Solovyov.

By Debbie Weiss, The Algemeiner

The host of a highly popular Russian TV show recently accused an Israeli guest of “justifying the murder of Palestinian children,” compared Israeli claims of Hamas’ use of human shields to those made by the Nazis during World War II, and even drew a comparison between the war in Gaza and the Holocaust.

Israeli-Russian journalist Nick Kolyohin was interviewed by Armen Gasparyan, host of the eponymous current affairs show “Gasparyan,” about the ongoing war in Gaza.

Gasparyan asked Kolyohin why Israel’s military campaign against the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza, had not ended “despite the fact that 15,000 Palestinian children have been killed,” and requested that Kolyohin “be objective” in his response.

Kolyohin said that while there were certainly “peaceful civilians” in Gaza, not all of them were innocent.

Kolyohin cited former Israeli hostages who he had interviewed as saying that Hamas terrorists cynically use Gazan children to bring them items, including food and weapons, into the Palestinian terror group’s extensive network of underground tunnels.

“Children are sometimes used as a tool for terrorists. Sometimes the [terrorists] threaten their families leaving them with no other option, or it might be the only way for them to earn money,” Kolyohin said.

“But sometimes they genuinely believe in what they’re doing because they are brainwashed to think that Jews are evil, and they must be killed.”

Kolyohin went on to say that while some Palestinian civilians are being used by Hamas as human shields, others actively aid the terrorists.

He pointed to acts of barbarity committed by Palestinian civilians on Oct. 7 itself.

Waves of Palestinians who were not affiliated with Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another Iran-backed terrorist group in Gaza, took advantage of the breached border and stormed Israeli communities, many of whom were caught on surveillance cameras stealing, murdering, and even kidnapping Israeli civilians back to Gaza.

“We shouldn’t think about everyone in the same way. Some may be peaceful and some may not,” Kolyohin told Gasparyan.

Gasparyan thanked Kolyohin for his time before launching into a diatribe against him. “Friends, I apologize for the horror of what we just broadcast on the air,” Gasparyan prefaced.

“I never thought that I would hear a justification for the murder of children on my show,” he said.

“It’s one thing to read about such things in various intellectual books about Nazism and understand that this was all condemned at the Nuremberg trials as a grave crime,” he went on.

“But quite another thing when sitting in the studio, microphone in front of you, and you are told, ever so calmly, that [children] are being used by Hamas.”

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Gasparyan compared the allegations to those made by the Nazis during World War II to justify the murder of children of members of Soviet partisan guerilla groups.

“Listening to someone justifying the murder of children — that’s something new, that’s the very worst,” he said.

He went on to say that Israel is a state “founded by people who survived the Holocaust — the worst ever catastrophe.”

“You would think they would be the last ones who would perpetrate one. Yet here we’ve heard everything that was said now, in a totally calm manner,” Gasparyan continued.

“We have to ask: where will we end up?” he added. “What is the next stage? Justifying the use of nuclear weapons in the Gaza Strip under the pretense of dealing with those tunnels? [They’d say] ‘Hamas left us no other choice, right?’”

Gasparyan’s show is wildly popular on Solovyov Live, a channel run by Russian TV presenter and propagandist Vladimir Solovyov.

With tens of millions of viewers on the Telegram channel alone, “Gasparyan” is ranked No. 2 on Solovyov Live, second only to Solvyov’s own TV show. YouTube blocked the channel after Russia invaded Ukraine in Feb. 2022.

Kolyohin described Gasparyan’s takedown of him as “highly offensive” and castigated the Russian host for not speaking his mind while the Israeli journalist was still on air.

“I couldn’t defend myself. It wasn’t only offensive; it was scary,” Kolyohin told The Algemeiner in a phone call from St. Petersburg. “When you are compared to the most evil thing that happened in our history, it’s awful.”

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“People watching could believe the anchor. This is scary and dangerous in today’s world,” he said.

Kolyohin accused the Russian press of extreme propaganda. “They see everyone as Nazis. Not just Ukrainians, but Israelis also.”

In the months following the Hamas-led massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, Russian sympathies transferred from Israelis to Palestinians, Kolyohin said, in a shift that was partly driven by the Arab and Muslim world which understood the value in shoring up Russian support.

The Israel-Hamas war was leveraged to highlight the “double standards of the West and its hypocrisy” in its dealings with both Russia and the Muslim world, he said.

“It’s a cynical, geopolitical game,” he added.

Kolyohin, who divides his time between Moscow and Tel Aviv, said he was not worried about speaking in defense of Israel on pro-Russian news channels.

“This profession is a scary one everywhere, not just here,” he said. “I think it’s a mistake not to speak, even if I don’t accept their agenda. I believe that if you are speaking the truth and not speaking hate, people will understand what I’m saying and accept it.”

Watch Kolyohin’s comments on Solovyov Live and Gasparyan’s subsequent diatribe below: