Vasily Vovk, a retired general in Ukraine who still holds a senior rank in the security services, has posted a particular virulent antisemitic rant on his Facebook, which has since been deleted.
He wrote that Ukrainian Jews “aren’t Ukrainians and I will destroy you”. He also threatened to “destroy” a senior Jewish lawmaker.
“I’m telling you one more time – go to hell, zhidi [kikes], the Ukrainian people have had it to here with you” he continued.
He also said that “Ukraine must be governed by Ukrainian”.
These represent some of the most ugly antisemitic attitudes imaginable. Not only is him singling out a Ukrainian lawmaker alongside Jews an indication that he believes that Jews have been wielding influence over politics, as well as his statement that Ukrainians “have had it to here with you”, but also his statement that Jews aren’t Ukrainians is reminiscent of both the worst of medieval persecutions, and of Nazism.
We have been at the forefront of documenting the rising antisemitism in Ukraine, which has involved a revival of ultra-Nationalism which reveres many figures who collaborated with the Nazis, attacks upon Jews, Jewish religious sites, and those who defend the rights of Jews, and pressure from nationalists resulting in criminal proceedings being brought against a Jewish war hero who killed Nazis.