Human Rights in Ukraine

Interethnic relations

For the first time a rural teacher has been convicted of anti-Semitism


This is the first time in independent Ukraine’s history that such a court ruling has been handed down.

On 20 May 2005 the Oleksandirvsk District Prosecutor began a criminal investigation against teacher of Ukrainian Language and Literature Mykola Yaymchuk. The 48-year-old teacher was accused of violating the principle of equality on the grounds of race, ethnic origin and religion. At school he was often heard use offensive words about ethnic Jews, including those studying or teaching the Torah. It was another teacher, herself Jewish, who decided to take him to court.

Yaymchuk was convicted under Article 161 (incitement to racial enmity). He was found guilty but has been amnestied because of his status as Chernobyl victim. However following the court ruling, the local department of education is planning to dismiss him. Yaymchuk denies any guilt.

Based on a report at

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