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Ukraine’s president says Jewish people played notable role in emergence of Ukraine

December 23, 2015, 22:12 UTC+3 KIEV
The Jewish language was one of the official languages of the young Ukrainian state and the Jews were immediate participants in the rise of the Ukrainian republic of 1918-1921, Poroshenko says
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Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko

Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko

© Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian presidential press service/TASS Archive

KIEV, December 23. /TASS/. Jewish people played a notable role in the emergence of the modern Ukrainian state, president Petro Poroshenko said on Wednesday as he addressed the Israeli Knesset.

He said, among other things, the Jewish language was one of the official languages of the young Ukrainian state and the Jews as a nation were immediate participants in the rise of the Ukrainian republic, meaning the Ukrainian People’s Republic of 1918-1921.

In 1918 through 1921, the Ukrainian people made what he called "the first desperate attempt over the period of 200 years" to revive its statehood and proclaimed the Ukrainian People’s Republic," he said.

As a particular evidence of the role the people of Jewish descent played in the then events, he pointed out the bank notes issued in the then republic, saying the contained inscriptions in Yiddish as one of the four most spoken tongues in the land.

Poroshenko said he might be mistaken but, to the best of his knowledge, those were the earliest bank notes issued in the 20th century that had Jewish letters on them.

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