Nationalist marchers in Kyiv say Ukraine is under ‘occupation’ by ‘Jewish clan’

Participants in a nationalist march in Ukraine raised a banner decrying the country’s “occupation and robbery” by a “Jewish clan.”

The banner, aimed at Ukraine’s Jewish president, Vlodymyr Zelensky, appeared at the annual OUN-UPA March, which is named for Ukrainian nationalist movements that for a time sided with Adolf Hitler against the Soviet Union.

“Celebrating the anniversary of the occupation and robbery of Ukraine by the Dnipro Jewish clan of Vova Zelensky,” the read the billboard-sized banner that was displayed in front of Zelensky’s office.

Zelensky, who was elected last year, has implicitly criticized the glorification of wartime collaborators, telling the Times of Israel earlier this year that it would be better to name monuments and streets in the country after people “whose names do not provoke conflict.” Dnipro is a city in eastern Ukraine with a large Jewish community.

Other symbols on display at the march included the logo of the ultra-nationalist Azov Battalion and a banner that read “White Lives Matter.”

Separately, Kyiv’s department of culture sent a letter to a prominent rabbi in Kyiv asking him to hold prayers for “defenders of Ukraine of all generations” on Oct. 14. That date is a national holiday known as both Defender of Ukraine Day and the Day of the Cossacks, a Slavic group that perpetrated pogroms against Jews in the early 20th century. Many Ukrainian Jews objected to the establishment of Oct. 14 as a national holiday in 2015.

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