Leaflets saying that Jews had to register or face deportation were handed out by three masked men standing outside of the Donetsk synagogue.
Three masked individuals holding a Russian Federation flag near the Donetsk synagogue in Ukraine on April 15 distributed fake leaflets calling on Jews to register with the Nationalities Commissioner or face deportation, according to a news release by the NCSJ: Advocates no Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia.
“Every citizen of Jewish nationality older than 16 years, residing in the territory of a sovereign Donetsk Republic has to go to the Donetsk Regional Administrator to see the Nationalities Commissioner, Office 514, for registration,” read the flyers. “In case of failure to register, the perpetrators will lose their citizenship and will be deported outside the republic, with their property confiscated.”
The official-looking documents were repudiated by the Nationalities Commissioner who said the leaflets were intended to cause unrest among the Jewish population, according to the NCSJ.
“We don't know if these notifications were distributed by pro-Russian activists or someone else, but it's serious that it exists," Olga Reznikova, 32, a Jewish resident of Donetsk, was quoted as saying in USA Today. “The text reminds of the fascists in 1941," she said referring to the Nazis who occupied Ukraine during World War II.
NCSJ officials said they have been in touch with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and will continue to monitor the situation.