A Ukrainian Jewish group accused the nation’s police force of “open antisemitism” after a high-ranking police official requested a list of all Jews in the western city of Kolomyya as part of an inquiry into organized crime.
The official request to the head of Kolomyya’s Jewish community is dated Feb. 18, 2020, according to a photograph of the document that Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, shared on Twitter Sunday.
Ukraine’s National Police department demanded from the Jewish community of Kolomiya to provide police the list of all Jews with addresses and mobile phones and Jewish students in universities with addresses and phones. It is explained as fight against transnational criminal gangs pic.twitter.com/re7foVcgHi— Eduard Dolinsky (@edolinsky) May 10, 2020
“Please provide us the following information regarding the Orthodox Jewish religious community of Kolomyya, namely: The organization’s charter; list of members of the Jewish religious community, with indication of data, mobile phones and their places of residence,” read the letter.
The letter was signed by Myhaylo Bank, a high-ranking officer in the national police force who handles organized crime. The letter did not explain his unit’s particular interest in Kolomyya’s Jews.
The head of the city’s Jewish community, Jacob Zalichker, declined on Feb. 25 to provide the requested information, adding that his community would comply only when presented with a court-ordered warrant.
“It’s a total disgrace and open antisemitism,” Dolinsky told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “It’s especially dangerous when it comes from a law enforcement agency that we have to fight the very thing it is perpetrating.”
Kolomyya and its environs, located about 500 miles southwest of Kiev, has several hundred Jews.