DONETSK, Ukraine (CBS News/CBSDC/AP) — The Jewish community in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine were reportedly told to “register” their property with the interim pro-Russian government or face deportation.
Ynet News reports that leaflets were handed out to Jews in the eastern Ukrainian province warning them that they will have their citizenship revoked and would face deportation if they did not register.
“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. Evasion of registration will result in citizenship revoke and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property,” the leaflet read, according to Ynet News.
The leaflet stated that since Ukraine’s Jewish community supported Stepan Bandera who lead a nationalist movement at the end of World War II to fight for independence from Ukriane, and opposed the interim government of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, everyone over the age of 16 will have to pay $50 to report and register with the “Commissioner of Nationalities.”
Olga Reznikova, a Jewish resident of Donetsk, told Ynet News she refuses to register.
“I do not intend to register. I am 32, I have lived in Donetsk my entire life and have never had to deal with anti-Semitism until I laid eyes on this piece of paper,” she said. “Though I take it very seriously, I am uncertain of its authenticity.”
Denis Pushilin, the regional chairman for the interim government, reportedly confirmed the leaflets were distributed by his organization.
Ynet News reports the leaflet was written in Russian and had the insignias of both Russia and the Donetsk interim government.
During a news conference in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry called the notices Jews received “grotesque.”
“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,” Kerry said. “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.”
In an interview with CBS News Wednesday, President Barack Obama says that the United States is not looking to go to war with Russia over the unrest in Ukraine.
“They’re not interested in a military confrontation with us,” Obama told CBS News. “We don’t need a war. What we do need is that countries like Ukraine can have relationships with their neighbors.”
Obama warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that there would be “consequences” if Russian forces continue to “destabilize” eastern Ukraine.
“What I’ve said consistently is that each time Russia takes these kinds of steps, that are designed to destabilize Ukraine and violate their sovereignty, that there are going to be consequences,” Obama told CBS News.
Obama added that it was “absolutely clear” that Russia violated Ukraine’s sovereignty by annexing Crimea.
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