Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry says

Members of the disbanded Ukrainian riot police unit Berkut arrive to support pro-Russian protesters in Donetsk April 12, 2014.  Credit: Reuters
Members of the disbanded Ukrainian riot police unit Berkut arrive to support pro-Russian protesters in Donetsk April 12, 2014.
Credit: Reuters

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that Jews in a city in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities, calling the idea intolerable.

“Just in the last couple of days, notices were sent to Jews in one city indicating that they had to identify themselves as Jews… or suffer the consequences,” Kerry told reporters.

“This is not just intolerable, it’s grotesque,” he said in Geneva, where he was meeting with his Russian, Ukrainian and European Union counterparts that produced a four-way agreement to work to defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

The origin of the leaflets in Donetsk was unclear and the leader of the pro-Russian separatist group whose letterhead was on the fliers denied any involvement, calling them a “crude forgery” intended to discredit his movement.

Local news site Novosti Donbassa quoted unidentified members of Donetsk’s Jewish community saying three masked men handed them out near the city’s synagogue on Monday, when Jews were celebrating the start of the Passover holiday.

Purporting to be issued by the Donetsk People’s Republic, a group which last week took over public buildings and wants to end rule by the new government in Kiev, the leaflet said all Jews aged over 16 must register with a “commissar” at the regional government headquarters by May 3.

Failure to comply would lead to deportation and the “confiscation of property”.

Its preamble explained that action was being taken because Jewish leaders had supported the “junta” which took power in Kiev after the overthrow of the Moscow-backed president.

Kirill Rudenko, a spokesman for the People’s Republic of Donbass, said the statement was “complete rubbish”: “We made no such demands on Jews,” he said. “We have nothing against Jews.

“This is just another attempt to tarnish our image … It is a crude forgery.”

Once home to a large Jewish population that was devastated by the Holocaust, Ukraine has seen a rise in attacks on Jews and on synagogues since unrest began five months ago.

Some Ukrainian nationalist groups which took part in the uprising in Kiev have been blamed for fanning anti-Semitic sentiment. Anti-Semitism is also common among some Russian nationalists.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."