Jews Ordered to ‘Register’ in East Ukraine

Jews have been ordered to "register" by pro-Russian militants in the city of Donetsk, USA Today reports:

LeafletJews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city's Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated," reported Ynet News, Israel's largest news website.

Donetsk is the site of an "anti-terrorist" operation by the Ukraine government, which has moved military columns into the region to force out militants who are demanding a referendum be held on joining Russia. The news was carried first by the Ukraine's Donbass news agency.

The leaflets bore the name of Denis Pushilin, who identified himself as chairman of "Donetsk's temporary government," and were distributed near the Donetsk synagogue and other areas, according to the reports.

Ynet adds:

According to Alex Tenzer, a Kiev native and one of the directors of the National Association of Immigrants from the Former USSR in Israel, said: "The Jewish-Ukrainian leadership supports Ukraine's new government, but it's hard to tell whether the leaflet is valid or simply a provocation.
"Anyway, the material is very anti-Semitic and reminds me of the kind of material distributed by the Nazis in WWII."
Emanuelle Shechter, from Israel, received a copy of the leaflet via Whatsapp from his friends in Donetsk. "They told me that masked men were waiting for Jewish people after the Passover eve prayer, handed them the flyer and told them to obey its instructions."

Update from Buzzfeed: Kerry

U.S. officials strongly condemned anti-Semitic leaflets allegedly being distributed in eastern Ukraine — even as it became clear that Jews were not in fact being forced to “register” and as questions arose about the provenance and authenticity of the documents.

“In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press conference after negotiations over the Ukraine crisis with Russia in Geneva. “And any of the people who engage in these kinds of activities — from whatever party or whatever ideology or whatever place they crawl out of — there is no place for that.”

…Pushilin, the pro-Russian local figure, has denied that his group put out the leaflets. And Kirill Rudenko, a spokesperson for the Donetsk Republic, also denied the group had anything to do with the flyer. “This is a total lie. We haven’t handed out any flyers. Our only tasks are defending the occupier buildings and preparing for the referendum,” he told BuzzFeed. “This is an American secret services provocation to discredit us.”

But even as the source of the fliers remains unclear, the U.S. government Thursday mounted a coordinated campaign to tie the flier to the separatists.

“Reports of Jews being forced to register by pro-Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine are chilling, outrageous and must be universally condemned,” White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes tweeted.


  1. Kess says

    Russia is perverse. I know this is not state sanctioned, but it could be. Russians hate Jewish people, probably more than they hate gay people.

  2. Glenn says

    Andy, this story has moved on quite a bit since these. Seems to be pretty solid evidence that this is either the work of a couple of agitators or a false-flag propaganda op. Either way, no evidence that there is any “registration” of Jews going on in E. Ukraine.

  3. Kess says

    “This is an American secret services provocation to discredit us.”

    Prove it. You’re already dismantling a sovereign nation. Your culture is already antijewish. Prove that someone else aside from your “cause” has done this. I’m sorry, but you just can’t trust Russians these days.

  4. Randy says

    How many more parallels to Nazi Germany do we need?

    Except this time they have nukes.

    Someone needs to ratchet this back down before we’re all in a war.

  5. northalabama says

    wow. talk about propaganda, and with such painful connotations – let’s hope these actions bite back hard at whoever is responsible.

    my next thought…if they were promoting the arrest, jailing, and fining of homosexuals, would anyone even be surprised?

  6. Kess says

    If it was a hoax it was probably done by Russians who want it to seem like it was done by American Intelligence agencies, that’s how f*cked up Russia is. Trust.

  7. ratbastard says

    If I were Jewish, I’d get the F out of Ukraine and Russia, pronto.

    Why are the Euros stepping up to the plate on this issue? They like to talk a big talk, that’s it. The U.S.should not be leading the ‘western’ response on this, the Euros should. I think NATO has truely outlived it’s usefulness.

  8. Moretruth says

    Sadly, this could have been ANYONE in Russia, Ukraine or most of the Eastern Block. The bulk of the people in these countries are miserable drunks. They look for scapegoats for their worthless existence and historically attack the Jews (with the backing of the Orthodox church…always). However, gays have been their modern target. Regardless, Jews, gays, poles, tartars, whatever….as long as they live where they aren;t a majority they’ll be a target.

  9. UFFDA says

    This is hideous. The thought of it is hideous. I too, if Jewish, would get the H out of all places Russian. And the Euros should, indeed, be the first to condemn this anti-Semitism. Yet they always leave the “expensive” decisions to the Americans, witness their utter and despicable cowardice in the Balkins. Germans, Italians, the French and the English should be beating their shoes on their podiums.

  10. Gary says

    Get off it. The closest gays get to Jewish is Andy Cohen. Stop milking others oppression with threatening BS.

  11. Gary says

    What a sap you are Andy. I wonder how you’d handle a real crisis–like an AIDS death sentence? You won’t even publish a questionable comment–and if that’s not true, prove it.

  12. says

    Is this the part where the the far left Democratic peaceniks and the isolationist, naive Rand Paul wing of the Republican Party apologizes to Hillary Clinton for laughing when she correctly compared Putin to Hitler?

    Thank goodness Hillary understands America needs a strong commander in chief who will protect this country and understand that America can’t be scared of being a leader who will stick by our allie

  13. Jon says

    So many here on Towleroad are super supportive of the Obama administration. Do you know where the Obama administration is when it comes to helping our ally Ukraine and the people of Ukraine? It’s AWOL. Obama is letting the LGBT persons and Jews and freedom-lovers in Ukraine fall to the hard-line Putin regime in Russia. And all the Obama administration has are “words of condemnation.” That’s it. Hardly any sanctions. No help with intelligence. No shipping of armaments. No flying in of military aircraft as a show of support. Absolutely nothing. Absolutely pathetic.

    The Obama administration is failing our ally, and minority groups in Ukraine are going to suffer harshly for it.

  14. Derrick from Philly says

    JON (Ridk),

    we will help finance your airfare to join the Ukrainian army.

    But don’t we (the US)need the help of the Germans, Poles, Danes, Dutch and British, etc. to help with putting pressure on Putin?

    It’s ugly and dangerous.

  15. Tyler says

    Oh please, they were just asked to register. It is basically asking them to do some paperwork. Too bad that Jews are always crying discrimination. This is why I will not date a jewish guy. Just follow the law and there won’t be any trouble.

  16. Gary says

    Thanks for the respect Felix. Actually they are testing me on a new one-and you might be assuming I should go back to it, but actually i have been a test case for this for most of my life. I have the best doctors in the country. If anyone questioned Lithium, it kept me fine for decades. There is a physical safety question that brings about this change. I am Bipol-1, rare and dangerous but have kept in in check (aside from the bitchy comments). It happened to me in my early 20’s, when it usually does–an experience unlike any other. Being gay also impacted, but I was fine by 23, when I got a boyfriend–a Cohen as a matter of fact. It did not ruin my life and I went on to college and work. We were together for 12 years-still friends. If anyone has any questions feel free. Sorry to be such an ass.

  17. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “This is why I will not date a jewish guy. Just follow the law and there won’t be any trouble.”

    Yeah, and what’s the reason why the Jewish guys would never date you?

    Rick, don’t you use Tyler’s posting name to with us this evening. We’re not in the mood.

  18. Merv says

    I would tend to come down on the side of this being a clumsy false-flag operation, probably by Ukraine, Israel, or the US. That’s not to say the Russian-Ukrainians aren’t very anti-Semitic. They certainly are. If I were a Jew living in the area I would have my bags packed and an escape plan at the ready.

  19. kit says

    I was just saying to a friend yesterday that it feels like we’re living in 1937 Germany all over again. How soon until we start seeing things like this in Kansas? I’m ready to book my ticket to that other earth-like world now…

  20. Keeping it Real says

    Citizenship revoked? Deportation? Land and property confiscation? Sounds like what the Palestinian people have been enduring in Israeli Occupied Palestine for the past 45 years.

  21. Demy says

    Keeping It Fake –

    Yeah. Right. It’s just like that. Cuz Israel doesn’t have millions of Arab citizens who live freely, vote and thrive as citizens in a free country.

  22. TKinSC says

    LOL if my meager knowledge of Russian doesn’t fail me, the leaflet mentions a registration fee of “50 dollars USA”. Looks like scammers haven’t *all* flocked to the Internet.

  23. MaryM says

    I want more information.

    The source of this story is an Israeli news service Ynet?

    The person commenting is Alex Tenzer – one of the directors of the National Association of Immigrants from the Former USSR in Israel. So he is an Israeli resident.

    Where are the interviews with the actual jewish population in Ukraine.

    Is this group merely a group that is trying to encourage jewish people in Eastern Europe to go to Israel as settlers to steal more Palestinian land, in light of the fact that so many Russian jews who moved to Israel have decided to go home to Russia in the last few years.

    I want a neutral news service’s report on this.

  24. Asher says

    Please marym first off the only Russians leaving Israel in large numbers are those who are not even really jewish(they have a Jewish great grand parent and are classified as other on all official data). Second immigration to israel has been very stable and the number leaving has dropped to almost nothing(with many who had left now coming back due to the failing economy in Europe).lastly the Arabs have no land it is all eratz israel!

  25. BrokebackBob says

    If you look (if you’ve got time between one night stands and drug taking) at the rise of Vladimir Putin and compare his to the rise of Adolph Hitler, they are frighteningly similar. The “rounding up of the Jews” was the first step that Hitler did before he went after everyone else who wasn’t Aryan, blond-blue-eyed. I have been following Putin’s actions and listening to people who are actual (not boobs) historians who track him and his cronies (apparently this includes Exxon/Mobil, BP and Shell as of yesterday) to find that his behavior and personal ambitions to the glory of a NewRussia (which he has begun calling eastern Ukraine) are similar to those of the most evil human of the last 100 years. All of the world must be vigilant and watch carefully instead of ignoring him the way the U.S. did prior to Pearl Harbor.