EAJC: no grounds for speaking of anti-Semitic motive for Kyiv murder


On Sunday morning, 9 May, Internet sites, quoting the Jewish religious movement CHABAD reported an anti-Semitic murder in Kyiv. The reports stated that a 25-year-old former Yeshiva student Aryeh Leib Misinzov had “in all likelihood” been abducted by neo-Nazis on Hitler’s birthday, and subsequently tortured and murdered, with his body being dismembered. It was also reported that “the leader of a neo-Nazi gang” had been arrested in connection with this crime.

According to information obtained by (the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress) from the Prosecutor’s office, SBU [Security Service] and police, as well as staff of the Jewish public centre and Director of the Yeshiva, there was indeed a murder, however there is nothing to suggest that the crime was of an anti-Semitic nature.

The murder took place around a week ago (i.e. around 2 weeks after Hitler’s birthday on 20 April) in a district of Kyiv. The body was not dismembered, as the Internet reports claimed. The victim was not dressed in traditional religious clothing and had no other features to identify him as a religious Jew – no head attire, no symbols nor any special haircut.  There is no confirmation of his having been abducted before the murder, nor of the arrest of neo-Nazis suspected of the crime.

There is thus at the present time no information which would make it possible to assert that the dead man was the victim of neo-Nazis or that there was an anti-Semitic motive. The police are presently investigating the crime, with the main version being a criminal motive.

Since the story is already gaining such wide publicity (it has for example, been commented on by Deputies of the Knesset), the editorial board call on people to not repeat unverified information and to be extremely correct, in connection with the crime, in covering the topic of Ukrainian – Jewish relations. Commenting on the situation regarding anti-Semitism in Ukraine, one should point to facts in this area showing a reduction in the number of different type of manifestations of this in recent times (for example here in Russian ; also here in English: and ). The assertions in some media outlets of a “sharp increase in the number of acts of anti-Semitism in recent months” have no foundation in fact. Meanwhile the latest crime is already being discussed in the context of cancelling the visa-free regime between Ukraine and Israel, and is taking on evermore improbable details. The editorial board of the website asks the media to use only correct information.

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