UK & World News

  • 18 April 2014, 23:18

Ukraine Jews Told To 'Register' In Mystery Flyer

The chief rabbi in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk has told Sky News of his distress at the distribution of a leaflet suggesting Jewish people must "register" with the government.

The leaflet, written in Russian, was apparently signed by Denis Pushilin, a leader of Donetsk People's Republic, but he has denied his organisation is behind it.

Its existence was first reported by Israeli websiteYnet, which says 17,000 Jews live in the city.

US Secretary Of State John Kerrybranded the leaflet as "grotesque".

Rabbi Pinkhas Vishedksi told Sky News he was given the leaflets to distribute earlier this week.

He said: "I am asking all the political leaders in Ukraine - please leave us alone."

On the website of the Donetsk Jewish community, he said: "What happened of course smells of a provocation. As to who is behind it - that is an open question."

The flyer calls for all Jews over 16 to register and supply a list of all property they own.

It suggests if they do not, they will have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated.

The leaflet carries Russia's national symbol, as well as the Donetsk People's Republic insignia.

It tells Jewish citizens: "ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles."

It also demands a $50 (30) registration fee.

Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Mr Kerry said: "Just in the last couple of days, notices were sent to Jews in one city indicating that they have to identify themselves as Jews.

"In the year 2014, after all of the miles travelled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable - it's grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable."

Russia has repeatedly accused the new authorities in Kiev of being dominated by anti-Semites and fascists following the ousting of Kremlin-backed President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

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