Panic in Ukraine the work of provocateurs
VAAD Ukraine [The Association of Jewish Communities and Organizations of Ukraine] and the Congress of National Communities of Ukraine are calling on political forces in Ukraine and beyond to refrain from making statements which undermine inter-ethnic harmony in Ukraine.
They stress that throughout the EuroMaidan protests, even during the worst confrontations, Ukrainian citizens were united regardless of their ethnic origin or faith.
Now that the armed conflict is over and the country is returning to peacetime, it is vital to maintain this unity. Only thus will Ukraine be able to swiftly and effectively overcome the problems which accumulated over decades and which were particularly exacerbated in the last few years.
In these circumstances, any circulation of rumours about inter-ethnic conflict and “predictions” of pogroms and ethnic cleansing should be seen as deliberate provocation aimed at destroying Ukraine as a sovereign, united, and democratic state.
They firmly oppose such action and stress that in Ukraine at present there is no real threat to ethnic or religious minorities.
They warn organizations and their leaders artificially maintaining a high level of fear and anxiety in Ukrainian society, first and foremost in the Jewish community, in order to raise money for ensuring safety that they bear responsibility for the consequences of their action. Unity is vital in countering the forces of reaction and neo-imperialist aggression. It is only together that we can be victorious.
The statement is signed by Josef Zisels, head of VAAD Ukraine and Executive Vice-President of the Congress of National Minorities.
Since Viktor Yanukovych and others disappeared and a new government was formed, Russia has been waging a major propaganda campaign, suggesting that ethnic Russians and Russian speakers are under threat in Ukraine.
The “anti-Semitism” card was particularly prominent over the three months of the EuroMaidan protests. While the Maidan protesters brought together ethnic Ukrainians, Jewish people, Crimean Tatars, ethnic Russians, and others, there were constant claims of rising anti-Semitism, with many coming from people in or close to the pro-government Party of the Regions.