Reports Of Death Of Jewish Leader In Ukraine Greatly Exaggerated

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The Donetsk Jewish community has demanded an apology from the Ukrainian media over reports that one of its leaders was brutally murdered by pro-Russian separatists.

The Donetsk Jewish community has demanded an apology from the Ukrainian media over reports that pro-Russian separatists brutally murdered one of its leaders.

According to the reports, Yehuda Kellerman, a senior communal leader, was severely beaten by men wearing symbols that identified them as belonging to the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic, and he subsequently died of his wounds in an ambulance. However, the community asserts that Kellerman is alive and well.

“The Donetsk Jewish community formally denies this lie,” the community posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday. “Thank God he’s all right and God bless him with health and long life, up to 120 [years].”

The community demanded an apology both from the press and from European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor, whom the reports quoted as a source. The reports also quoted Kantor as saying that terrorists and anti-Semites had taken over the city.

“He most certainly did not give such an interview,” EJC spokeswoman Orly Joseph told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “At a time when there are all-too-real attacks on Jews across Europe, the EJC certainly has no intention or need to pay any attention to false ones.”

Kellerman “said it’s very complicated to really determine who is [responsible for such reports], but the community sees in this a force trying to pull [them] into the political game,” the official continued. “He asked to be congratulated on the day of his ‘death,’ because today is the 25th anniversary of his becoming involved in Jewish life in Donetsk.”