Hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused NATO and of supporting “neo-Nazis” and vowed to “denazify” Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky hit back at his Russian counterpart accusing Moscow of acting like “Nazi Germany,” and said that the Russian attack was akin to Germany’s infamous blitzkrieg tactic that was widely used during World War II.

“Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in #2WW years,” tweeted Zelensky.

“As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history,” added the 44-year-old, and accused Russia of embarking “on a path of evil.”

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However, Zelensky added that Ukraine was “defending itself & won’t give up its freedom no matter what Moscow thinks.”

The President’s comments came hours after he announced that Ukraine had severed diplomatic ties with Russia, marking the first rupture in diplomatic relations between the two countries since their independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Earlier in the day, Zelensky also urged able-bodied Ukrainians to take up arms against the Russian invaders, and assured that Kyiv would supply weapons to anyone looking to fight the invasion.

Russia officially announced an invasion of Ukraine – a “special military operation” in Vladimir Putin’s words – early on Thursday morning, and said that the operation was being carried out to help people in the conflict-ridden Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

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Moscow also accused Ukraine of being responsible for a “genocide” against the people of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, something that Kyiv has categorically denied.

As it stands, dozens of casualties are being reported by both sides, and Ukraine has also claimed that it shot down several Russian aircraft that had flown into Ukrainian airspace.

With the conflict quickly spiralling out of control, world leaders have condemned Russia and its leaders and are likely to impose strict sanctions soon.