Von der Leyen just said what?...
This past Wednesday, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen delivered a speech before the 2023 Atlantic Council Awards in New York, where she sounded the alarm over the specter of nuclear war centered on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. But while invoking remembrance of the some 78,000 civilians killed instantly by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of WWII, she said her warning comes "especially at a time when Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again". She actually framed the atomic atrocity in a way that made it sound like the Russians did it. Watch:
Shameful words by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.— Alexandre Guerreiro (@ATGuerreiro) September 22, 2023
What do you mean with "once again"?
Treacherous words used on her speech delivered at the 2023 Atlantic Council Awards to suggest that Russia used nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,… pic.twitter.com/nJFd8acJbq
There was not one single acknowledgement in Von der Leyen's speech that it was in fact the United States which incinerated and maimed hundreds of thousands when it dropped no less that two atomic bombs on Japanese cities.
Here were her precise words, according to an Atlantic Council transcript...
You, dear Prime Minister, showed me the meaning of this proverb during the G7 summit in Japan last year. You brought us to your hometown of Hiroshima, the place where you have your roots and which has deeply shaped your life and leadership. Many of your relatives lost their life when the atomic bomb razed Hiroshima to the ground. You have grown up with the stories of the survivors. And you wanted us to listen to the same stories, to face the past, and learn something about the future.
It was a sobering start to the G7, and one that I will not forget, especially at a time when Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again. It is heinous. It is dangerous. And in the shadow of Hiroshima, it is unforgivable.
The above video of that segment of the speech gives a better idea of the subtle way she closely associated in her rhetoric the words "once again" with the phrase "shadow of Hiroshima" while focusing on what Russia is doing, to make it sound like it was Moscow behind the past atrocities.
Russian media not only picked up on the woefully misleading comments, but the Kremlin issued a formal rebuke of Von der Leyen's speech as well:
In response to von der Leynen's remarks, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the European Commission president of making "no mention whatsoever of the US and its executioners who dropped the bombs on populated Japanese cities."
Zakharova responded on social media, arguing that von der Leyen's assertions on Moscow's supposed intentions to employ nuclear weapons "is despicable and dangerous" and "lies."
Empire of lies and its lords— Russian Embassy in Kenya/Посольство России в Кении (@russembkenya) September 23, 2023
Nuclear weapons were used only twice in history. But at the Atlantic Council Awards, EU's Von der Leyen, without mentioning that both times US did it, falsely claimed that "Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again". Shame. pic.twitter.com/wRY2sntxl0
Some Russian embassies in various parts of the globe also highlighted the speech on social media, denouncing the "empire of lies" and those Western leaders issuing 'shameful' propaganda and historical revisionism.