As Russian forces were amassing on Ukraine’s eastern border, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was busy getting a law passed to outlaw criticism of his own ethnic group.
Ukraine's parliament passed a law criminalizing antisemitism, which applies to individuals, groups and public officials and can carry consequences of fines or years behind bars.
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) February 16, 2022
Ukraine’s parliament passed a law on Wednesday criminalizing antisemitism.
As defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, antisemitism when committed by an individual is punishable by a fine or a prison sentence of up to five years.
Public officials would also be fined or imprisoned for up to five years, and banned from holding certain offices for up to three years.
Organized groups committing acts of antisemitism, or acts with severe consequences, are punishable with prison sentences of up to eight years.[…] Jewish Confederation of Ukraine President Boris Lozhkin wrote in September, when the first law passed, that it “brought Ukraine closer to Europe and the civilized world. Together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, JCU has been conducting joint monitoring of manifestations of antisemitism for a long time, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs promptly responds to all cases of physical or online antisemitism.
“However, for an effective fight against these manifestations, the legal component was missing… A real tool has appeared now for combating a phenomenon that has a much broader meaning than hatred toward Jews.”
You can read the IHRA’s incredibly broad definition of anti-Semitism on their website.
Though Zelensky is on the front lines of the fight against anti-Semitism, he shocked his NATO allies by leaving Ukraine on Friday to attend the Munich conference.
He returned on Saturday after NATO allies expressed “concern.”
After Russia reportedly moved forces into the breakaway region of Donetsk on Monday evening, Zelensky said he expects “clear support” from the West.
BREAKING: Russian tanks have deployed in Donetsk
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) February 22, 2022
BREAKING: Al Jazeera says it has obtained footage of Russian military vehicles entering Donetsk in eastern Ukraine pic.twitter.com/3OvuDV9Pzp
— BNO News (@BNONews) February 22, 2022
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) February 22, 2022
Zelensky is now telling Ukrainians not to “lose sleep” as he makes a last ditch effort to lobby Western nations to fight the war he picked with Russia.