|Russian Tzar Vladimir smiles during a meeting and Britain's Prince Charles acts like a very nervous man|
Prince Charles's comparison of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Adolf Hitler triggered a diplomatic row on Thursday when Moscow scolded the heir to the British throne for what it said was an outrageous attempt to sully Russia's reputation over Ukraine.
During a trip to Canada, the 65-year-old prince told a Jewish woman who fled from Poland during World War Two that in Ukraine "Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler", according to the Daily Mail newspaper.
Charles's remarks, described by a royal source as "well-intentioned" and not meant to be made public, caused a stir in Britain because the royal family is not expected to voice political views in public.
"If these words were truly spoken, then, without doubt, they do not reflect well on the future British monarch," a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry told a news conference.
"We view the use of the Western press by members of the British royal family to spread the propaganda campaign against Russia on a pressing issue - that is, the situation in Ukraine - as unacceptable, outrageous and low."
Russian diplomats were seeking an official explanation over the remarks, which are especially emotive for a country that lost more people than any other in World War Two.
But the British Foreign Office said it had told a senior Russian official in London on Thursday that it would not comment on reports of private conversations.
Putin, a former KGB spy who has repeatedly spoken about the sacrifices of what Russians call the Great Patriotic War, lost a brother in the Nazi siege of Leningrad.
The Soviet Union lost more than 20 million people in the war and the victory over Nazi Germany is celebrated across Russia as a national triumph.