(CNN) – “Chilling” leaflets warning Jews to register and document their property with the pro-Russian government that has claimed power in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk are “the real deal,” the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine said Thursday.
Geoffrey Pyatt told CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” that a respected Jewish leader in Ukraine showed him a photograph of one of the leaflets. It was not clear who was behind the flier, which warned Jews that they face deportation or loss of citizenship if they fail to register.
“All citizens of Jewish nationality over age of 16, living on territories of Donetsk People’s Republic, have to register with DPR commissioner of nationality before May 3rd, 2014 at the Donetsk Regional Administration, room 514, registration fee is $50,” the leaflet reads, according to a CNN translation of the document. “Must have in person $50 cash, passport, all available IDs, and documentation of ownership of real estate and transportation.”
A statement from the Jewish community in Donetsk said the fliers bore the signature of “People’s Governor” Denis Pushilin, the head of the self-declared “People’s Republic of Donetsk.” But Pushilin denied any connection to the leaflets, calling the incident a “clear provocation.”
Pushilin told CNN the handwriting on the flier wasn’t his, and the title attached to his name was not one he uses. And the Jewish community in Donetsk said the act “smells like a provocation.”