The Ukrainian ultra-nationalist Svoboda party distanced itself from a recent anti-Semitic letter carrying its logo.
The threatening letter, which was mailed this month to a prominent Jewish movie director, is “another attempt to do divert attention away from the authorities’ failed social and economic policies by implanting artificial incitement of ethnic hatred in Ukraine,” the Ukrainian news site obozrevatel.com on Thursday quoted a Svoboda spokesperson as saying. Svoboda, the spokesman said, had nothing to do with the letter.
Obozrevatel reported that the letter to movie director David Cherkassky read: “Dear Shmuel, you live and grow fat in Ukraine. We are very happy for you as long as everything is quiet, but your peace and quiet will not last long. So gather your belongings before it is too late.” Cherkassky said the letter appeared to be written based on a template.
In April, Svoboda blamed “provocateurs” from outside the party for triggering a small but violent riot at Cherkasy, where several young men marched at a political rally with jackets and shirts emblazoned with the Party name and logo and a slogan: “Beat the kikes.”
Last year Svoboda entered the Ukrainian parliament for the first time with 10 percent of the national vote. They received less than one percent in the previous elections. Some of the party’s leaders have used anti-Semitic pejoratives.