Pro-Russian Forces Ordering Jews In East Ukraine To ‘Register’

Donetsk Protests

A disturbing development in the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine:

Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Israeli media.

Jews 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 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 report.


The leaflet begins, “Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality,” and states that all people of Jewish descent over 16 years old must report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and “register.”

It says the reason is because the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta, a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement that fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II, “and oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk,” a name adopted by the militant leadership.

The leaflet then described which documents Jews should provide: “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.”

Consequences for non-compliance will result in citizenship being revoked “and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property.” A registration fee of $50 would be required, it said.

Here’s the leaflet:


There is, of course, a sad history of anti-semitism in Eastern Europe. So, it’s not entirely surprising to see it rearing its head here, although it’s worth noting that there are also anti-semetic elements allied with the new Ukrainian government in Kiev. In any case, though, this kind of thing seldom ends well.

FILED UNDER: Religion, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ron Beasley says:

    And so who are the Nazis?

  2. David in KC says:

    @Ron Beasley: Just what I was thinking.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Important to keep in mind that all the Republicans are Putin fans now.

  4. CB says:

    Don’t forget, while Russian diplomats were outwardly touting Euromaidan as Nazis and fascists, domestic propaganda was declaring the revolt a Jewish conspiracy. The US hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory here, but the brazeness coming from Moscow is jarring. The balls on these guys…

  5. michael reynolds says:

    I’ve said from the start that Putin was reading from Adolf’s 1938 play book. No doubt someone will find a way to lay the blame on the West, but I would urge people to take off the hair shirts and take a closer look at Putin.

    If I were a Ukrainian or Russian Jew I’d be getting my travel plans in order.

  6. stonetools says:

    According to Twitter, this may have been a false alarm. Just remember, both sides are pumping out propoganda on a major scale. Maybe we ought to apply the 24 hour rule to any dispatches from Ukraine.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Putin is an old school ex-KGB thug.

    Keep in mind that Republicans denied Obama authority to take action in Syria, leaving Putin to take the lead there. Now of course, in the case of Syria, Republicans like to point out that Putin in strong while Obama is weak and he does not take action.

  8. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: Maybe we should wait ten minutes and find out if this is real. As I recall, Doug went through a long period of posting every insane rumor about North Korea as fact — or are we still supposed to be worked up about all of the current dictator’s relatives being executed by being eaten by dogs?

  9. grumpy realist says:

    So any flunky with a computer and a printer gets to declare himself head of authority? Neat. I predict much merriment.

  10. Matt Bernius says:

    @stonetools & @wr:
    Whoa there you two. What’s with this entirely unreasonable call for taking a moment to see if this is an actual event rather than as @grumpy realist suggests some guy with a printer?

    I mean, that’s crazy talk.

  11. DrDaveT says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    And so who are the Nazis?

    Perversely, the extremes of Nazi antisemitism allow us to forget the recurring pogroms, expulsions, confiscations, and other assorted atrocities that have characterized “Christian” treatment of Jews throughout Europe for many centuries.

    There was only one Third Reich; there have been many many Inquisitions. This remains true regardless of whether this particular story is fact or fiction.

  12. nemerinys says:

    NCSJ “Fake Flyer Calls for Donetsk Jews to ‘Register’

    ADL statement

    Cui bono?

  13. Dave D says:

    @Matt Bernius: Between this Times of Israel paper and the numerous interviews Pushilin gave tvrain in particular. It seems now that his line is his people were distributing them but he had no involvement. But as the Daily Beast reports

    According to Rabbi Vyshedski, the press secretary of the self-proclaimed republic, Aleksander Kriakov, is “the most famous anti-Semite in the region.” Schneerson wondered how separatists who are trying to position themselves as “anti-fascist” and claiming it’s Kiev that’s run by neo-Nazis could pick Kriakov as their spokesman.

    I would think it is safe to say this isn’t an official action from the “government” but there is considerable anti-antisemitism on the pro-Russian side.

  14. Matt Bernius says:


    Perversely, the extremes of Nazi antisemitism allow us to forget the recurring pogroms, expulsions, confiscations, and other assorted atrocities that have characterized “Christian” treatment of Jews throughout Europe for many centuries.


    And, as your later post notes, these things get tied up in questions of whether or not this is a centralized effort (directed by the Government or other source of authority) or decentralized splinter groups and individuals.

    As Edward Said would point out, when it comes to Christians, any anti-semitism is explained away aberrant and the work of apostates.

    If this was happening in Turkey, for example, this would be part of an organized effort by monolithic Islam to “get the Jews.”

  15. Matt Bernius says:

    @Dave D:
    We also need to deal with the fact that these efforts are playing out against Putin’s attempts to bring the Russian Orthodox Church back to the forefront of Russian Culture and reestablish Russia as a Christian Nation (versus the USSR’s “Godless” republic).

    This isn’t to suggest the Church is to blame, but the connection between Christianity and Nationalism is arguably at an all time high in Modern Russian History.

  16. dazedandconfused says:

    @nemerinys: We have no idea who produced it.

    Awww… and we wanted to call Putin “Hitler” so badly too….

  17. grumpy realist says:

    That’s the problems with revolutions. You gotta keep an eye on them or who knows will be declaring they have authority to state things?

    Is this clown listed anywhere officially as a “Press Secretary” or is this something else he made up out of his own head?

    Methinks a power struggle is going on behind the scenes…

  18. CSK says:

    According to the New Republic, this is a hoax of some sort.

    OT, but Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died.

  19. DK 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 allies.

  20. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: “Perversely, the extremes of Nazi antisemitism allow us to forget the recurring pogroms, expulsions, confiscations, and other assorted atrocities that have characterized “Christian” treatment of Jews throughout Europe for many centuries.”

    And, shockingly, continued even directly after WW2. Just finished reading Ian Buruma’s fascinating (and insanely depressing) Year Zero, a history of the world in 1945, and the bits on the way Eastern European Jews were immediately discriminated against by those who had suffered under the Nazis is horrifying. I am no fan of the current Israeli government… but man, this makes it clear where their mindset comes from.

  21. CB says:


    Boilerplate nonsense.


    Oh man, depressing doesn’t come close. Good read, but damn…

  22. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: hardly, we scoff at how obama can’t seem to deal with him. he’s still a washed up kgb guy, we all knew he couldn’t escape his past and sooner or later would have to assert his inner commie instincts. now that he has, what will obama do about it?
    but seriously, we know he’s just hoping his term ends before he needs to to anything but golf.