Antisemitic incidents decreased by 27 percent in Ukraine in 2019
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Antisemitic incidents decreased by 27 percent in Ukraine in 2019

Jewish group documented 66 hateful incidents towards Jews compared to 90 the previous year

Anti-Semitic graffiti daubed onto a Jewish community centre in Odessa Ukraine (2017)
Anti-Semitic graffiti daubed onto a Jewish community centre in Odessa Ukraine (2017)

A Jewish organisation in Ukraine said that the number of antisemitic incidents documented there last year decreased by 27 percent over 2018.

The United Jewish Community of Ukraine, one of several groups representing Ukrainian Jewry, said in a report published Monday that it has documented 66 antisemitic incidents in 2019 compared to 90 in the previous year.

It attributed the purported change to the election in May of Volodymyr Zelensky, a Jewish actor, as president.

The Jewish group that published the report is headed by Igor Kolomoisky, a nationalist Jewish billionaire who owns the television channel where Zelensky worked.

Ukraine has no government watchdog that monitors racist incidents and publishes aggregated reports.

Organisations from within the fractious Jewish community of Ukraine have often disagreed on these issues.

Israel’s Ministry for Diaspora Affairs in 2018 said that in 2017, Ukraine had had more than 130 antisemitic incidents – more than the combined tally of documented cases that year from the entire former Soviet Union.

Some groups, including the Vaad Association of Jewish organisations and Communities, disputed that report, while others, including the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, said it seemed reliable.

Monday’s report details one physical assault on a person — an activist for free speech whom perpetrators beat up in December in Kiev while calling him a Jew.

Other cases included threats and antisemitic vandalism at Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust monuments.

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