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MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. Russian-Israeli politician and journalist Avigdor Eskin has declared he is beginning a sign-up campaign to collect the signatures of religious figures of authority to an appeal addressed to the European Jewish Parliament and the European Jewish Union demanding the expulsion of Ukrainian big business tycoon Igor Kolomoisky.
“It would be just fair if the Jewish community stripped him of all posts and expelled him from its organizations. For this we shall address them together with those whom they cannot but listen to. It is intolerable that our coreligionist gives money to people wearing chevrons with swastikas,” Eskin told the daily Izvestia.
He believes that the Jewish organizations in Europe, Russia and Israel should pay more attention to events in Ukraine.
Kolomoisky is the founder of the financial-industrial group Privat and governor of Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk Region. The battalions on his payroll are suspected of killings of civilians in the south-east of Ukraine. Last June Russia’s Investigative Committee put Kolomoisky on the international wanted list on charges of masterminding murder, using prohibited means and methods of warfare, impairing the activity of journalists, and abductions.
Izvestia says that Kolomoisky is a member of a number of Jewish organizations and even leads some of them, such as the European Jewish Union. The election was held about five years ago, when the Ukrainian tycoon had not financed extremist organizations yet.
A member of the European Jewish Parliament, Igor Dabakarov, supports Eskin in his initiative and is prepared to press for Kolomoisky’s expulsion from the EJU leadership.
“I am one of the initiators of this message, and I believe that such people as Kolomoisky have no right to lead such communities. At the forthcoming meeting of the European Jewish Parliament I shall certainly raise the question of his removal from that post and of his expulsion. The representatives from the CIS countries share our position,” Izvestia quotes Dabakarov as saying.
The deputy president of the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities and Organizations of Russia, Rabbi Zinovy Kogan, believes it will be utterly impermissible to associate Kolomoisky’s name with the Jewish people. “We have our own rascals, just as any other people. Kolomoisky is precisely such a type,” Kogan said.
The collapse of traditional values in Ukraine has brought about chaos and conditions for the emergence of real neo-Nazism, he added.
A Moscow synagogue rabbi, Isaac Kogan, has remarked that “the swastika and the Jewish way of life are incompatible."
“The things I see in Ukraine these days - swastikas on the chevrons of Kolomoisky’s battalions - are certainly incompatible with Ukraine’s future,” he said.
At the end of September and the beginning of October the world remembers the victims of Nazi war crimes at Babi Yar in Kiev. The Babi Yar ravine in 1941 was a scene of mass executions of civilians, mostly Jews, and also Soviet prisoners of war.