Jews Ordered To Register In Pro-Russian East Ukraine

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donestk were ordered to register, provide a list of all their property and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated," according to Israeli media.

Jews say they were handed leaflets as they left synagogue that told them to register with the pro-Russian militants, who seized government buildings and want to make the city part of Russia.

Leaflets were stamped with the name Denis Pushilin, who declared himself the chairman of "Donetsk's temporary government.”

According to Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website, Pushilin acknowledged that his organization handed out the leaflets but denied any responsibility for its content.

The notice said registration was due to the alleged support of Jewish leaders for the "nationalist junta of [Stepan] Bandera in Kiev" and its hostility "to the Orthodox Donetsk republic and its citizens."

Jewish Donetsk resident Olga Reznikova, 32, told Ynet she never experienced anti-Semitism locally until she received the leaflet.

"We don't know if these notifications were distributed by pro-Russian activists or someone else, but it's serious that it exists," Reznikova said.

"The text reminds of the fascists in 1941,” she said referring to the Nazis.

Michael Salberg, director of the international affairs at the New York City-based Anti-Defamation League, told USA Today that it is uncertain whether the flyer was a made by pro-Russian leaders or a splinter group, but the message is still clear.

"The message is a message to all the people that is we're going to exert our power over you," Salberg said. "Jews are the default scapegoat throughout history for despots to send a message to the general public: Don't step out of line."

Sources: USA Today, Haaretz