Ukrainian lawmaker calls for purging Jews

A Ukrainian politician called for a purge of Jews in his country.

Oleg Tyagnybok, a former member of President Viktor Yushchenko’s parliament faction Our Ukraine, in a speech Tuesday called for “merciless” action against Jews and Russians who have seized power in Ukraine, Meilekh Sheykhet, the National Council on Soviet Jewry representative in Lvov, told JTA.

Tyagnybok heads the Nationalistic Freedom Party, which holds several seats in the Lvov regional parliament.

He was expelled from the Our Ukraine faction in the summer of 2004 for using anti-Semitic and xenophobic slogans during an address at the grave of the Ukrainian Rebel Army Commander Klim Savur in the Ivano-Frankovsk region.

Tyagnybok habitually labels Jews and Russians with the pejorative terms “kikes” and “moskali.”

On Tuesday, Tyagnybok reportedly lashed out at Yushchenko by claiming that his surrogates are beginning to use the words such as “kike” and “moskali” in their speeches – words that four years ago got him expelled from the president’s parliament faction.

“So now it’s OK [to use those words?” Tyagnybok asked. “But it’s too late now! The kikes and moskali and their minions have seized power, and without a tough, merciless purge, there is nothing we can do about it.”

“This is racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism,” Sheykhet told JTA, “and Tyagnybok should be punished.”

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