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07KYIV499, UKRAINE: RELIGIOUS, ETHNIC GROUPS IN ODESA CONDEMN

February 28, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV499 2007-02-28 15:18 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Kyiv

null
Deborah J Ash  03/16/2007 12:29:39 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Feb 07 cables

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
UNCLAS    SENSITIVE     KYIV 00499

SIPDIS
CXKIEV:
    ACTION: POL
    INFO:   DTRO DAO AMB CONS PAS DCM ECON CUST AID RAO

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: POL:GKENT
DRAFTED: POL:CTURNACIOGLU
CLEARED: NONE

VZCZCKVI771
PP RUEHC RUEHZG RUCNCIS
DE RUEHKV #0499 0591518
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281518Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1360
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KYIV 000499 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV UNHRC UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: RELIGIOUS, ETHNIC GROUPS IN ODESA CONDEMN 
ANTI-SEMITISM AS "OUR COMMON PAIN" 
 
REF: KYIV 450 
 
(U) Sensitive but unclassified, please handle accordingly. 
Not for internet distribution. 
 
1. (SBU) On February 26, representatives of more than 40 
religious denominations and ethnic communities from the Odesa 
oblast signed a joint statement condemning the February 17-18 
desecration in Odesa of Holocaust memorials, a Jewish 
cemetery, and a memorial to a well-known Odesan Jew (reftel). 
The vandalism had been immediately condemned by Odesa Mayor 
Eduard Hurvits, who is Jewish himself, the Odesan police, and 
the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and investigations 
were quickly launched.  The spokesman for the Jewish 
community center in Odesa city told us on February 27 that a 
task force of local and national law enforcement officials 
has identified suspects, but no arrests have been made. 
 
2. (U) The statement, produced at a joint session of the 
Coordinating and Consultative Council on Religious-Secular 
Accord and Council of Ethnic Communities, lamented a lack of 
historical awareness of the Holocaust on the part of the 
younger generation and called on the government to do 
everything possible to bring the vandals to justice.  It said 
that the vandalism was "a well-planned provocation rather 
than a spontaneous action committed by a marginal part of 
society," and that the attempt to spark anti-Semitism was 
part of "a political struggle."  A rabbi at the session said 
that if the authorities did not react properly to the 
provocation, it could encourage similar acts against other 
ethnic and religious groups.  City Council Secretary 
Prokopenko described the vandalism as: "a deep psychological 
trauma for the citizens of Odesa.  This is our common 
pain...it is directed against all ethnic groups.  We have to 
do everything possible to ensure this does not happen again." 
 
3. (SBU) Comment: It is reassuring to see that in a city that 
prides itself on its diversity and history of multiculturism, 
the citizenry publicly rejects such hostile acts and condemns 
anti-Semitism.  Signatories included 19 religious 
denominations, including all major Orthodox, Protestant and 
Catholic churches in Ukraine in addition to Jewish 
communities, as well as 23 various ethnic communities, 
including Roma. 
 
4. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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