Ukraine / 10-08-2009

Ukraine - Ukrainian Jews want mayor charged for slurs


Ukrainian Jewish leaders are asking that the mayor of a major Ukrainian city be charged for assault and making antisemitic statements.

In a request to the prosecutor general, the Jewish Forum of Ukraine asked that Uzhgorod  Mayor Sergey Ratushniak’s conduct be examined in accordance with the Criminal Code of Ukraine on inciting interethnic hatred.

Ratushniak allegedly assaulted a woman, 21, last week as she campaigned for the Front of Changes initiative near the university in Uzhgorod, located in western Ukraine at the Slovakia border. The mayor also openly made antisSemitic statements and anti-Israel remarks.

According to an Interfax news agency report Saturday, Ratushniak was commenting on activities of the Front for Change initiative headed by parliament member Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a leading presidential candidate whose parents reportedly were Jewish, when he said, "Impudent Jew Yatsenyuk, who was successfully serving to thieves, who are at power in Ukraine, is using criminal money to plow ahead towards Ukraine’s presidency.”

Also, according to Interfax, Ratushniak said that “Criminal Jew Yatsenyuk has apparently decided that these are the elections to a village council somewhere in Israel. So, using criminal money, he gathered drug traffickers and smugglers, and without the permission of the city council is showering our city with the garbage.”

According to the alleged assault victim, Ratushniak began to insult female campaigners for Yatsenyuk, then grabbed her by the throat and pushed her to the ground.

Ratushniak denies the accusations.