April 17, 2014, 12:15 p.m.
TO: NCSJ Leadership and Interested Parties
FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSJ Executive Director
UKRAINE UPDATE #22
On the evening of April 15, official-looking documents were circulated in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, calling on Jews to register with the Nationalities Commissioner and pay $50 or lose their citizenship and face deportation. Three individuals wearing ski masks and the flag of the Russian Federation were seen distributing the flyers near the Donetsk synagogue.
The leaflets read:
“Dear citizens of Jewish nationality! Due to the fact that leaders of the Jewish Community of Ukraine support the Bandera junta in Kiev and are hostile to the Orthodox Donetsk Republic and its citizens, the main headquarters of the Donetsk Republic declares the following:
• Every citizen of Jewish nationality older than 16 years, residing in the territory of a sovereign Donetsk Republic has to go to Donetsk Regional Administrator to see the Nationalities Commissioner, Office 514, for registration. The registration fee is $50.
• Persons should have with them with cash in the amount of $50 for registration, a passport to mark their religion, and documents of family members, as well as ownership documents for their properties and vehicles.
• In case of failure to register, the perpetrators will lose their citizenship and will be deported outside the republic, with their property confiscated.”
A leaflet distributed in Donetsk, Ukraine, calls for all Jewish people over 16 years-old to register as Jews.
(Photo: The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism)
The flyers were signed in the name of Denis Pushilin, the leader of Donetsk’s pro-Russian separatists, who led the takeover of several government buildings and claimed the city as the Donetsk Republic.
NCSJ has contacted the Donetsk Jewish community leaders, who called the flyers a provocation. They said that all authorities have denied any connection to the flyers, and that Pushilin has denied authorship.
Several members of the community went to the Nationalities Commissioner, who repudiated the flyer, and said that the leaflets were distributed to cause unrest among the Jewish population.
Similar leaflets were distributed targeting international students at the local university.
In addition to the local community, NCSJ has been in regular contact with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Kiev on the issue of the flyers.
NCSJ will continue to monitor the situation in Donetsk and throughout Ukraine, and provide you with timely and critical updates.
NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia,
Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia, founded
represents the organized American Jewish
in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the
estimated 1.5 million Jews living in the 15
states of the former Soviet Union.
NCSJ is a beneficiary of The
Federations of North America and the National
through its network of