Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk have allegedly been handed flyers by pro-Russian militants ordering that they register themselves and pay a tax or face deportation, The Interpreter reports.
The leaflets bear the signature of Denis Pushilin, the Chairman of Donetsk’s temporary revolutionary government. The leaflets are written in Russian and bear both Russia’s and the Donetsk People’s Republic’s insignias.
Jews in Donetsk reportedly received the flyers as they left synagogue Monday evening after attending Passover services. The flyers were handed out by men wearing balaclavas and without insignia, although they reportedly carried a Russian flag.
The Times of Israel reports that Pushilin denies any connection to the flyers and labels them as mere provocation. However, Ynet News reports that Pushilin confirmed the flyers were distributed by his organisation but that he had no connection to the content.
The Jewish community suffered heavily in Ukraine during the Holocaust and during the Soviet Union, and a majority of the remaining community emigrated to Israel. Today roughly 500,000 Jews remain in Ukraine.
Ironically, part of Putin’s propaganda against the interim Ukrainian government is that neo-Nazis occupy key government posts.
An informal translation of the flyer, by Paul Goble of The Interpreter, is below:
Respected citizens of Jewish nationality! Given that the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine support the Banderite junta in Kiev and are hostile to the Orthodox Donetsk Republic and its citizens, the Main Staff of the Donetsk Republic orders the following:
All citizens of Jewish nationality over the age of 16 who live on the territory of the sovereign Donetsk Republic must before May 3, 2014, appear before the Donetsk Republic commissar for nationality affairs in Room 514 of the government’s offices. The cost of registration is 50 US dollars.
In addition to the sum of 50 US dollars, those registering must bring their passports so that their religious affiliation can be entered, documents about the members of their families, and also notarized documents about all the real estate and means of transportation you own.
Those who refuse to register will be deprived of citizenship and forcibly expelled from the republic and their property will be confiscated.
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