Top Ukrainian Police Official Who Demanded ‘List of Jews’ Fired From His Post
The senior Ukrainian police official who demanded that a regional Jewish community supply him with a list of the names and contact details of its members has been fired from his post.
Mykhailo Bank — the head of the strategic investigation department of the National Police in Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankivsk region — was dismissed by the country’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, on May 15.
The news of Bank’s firing was relayed by the Ukrainian parliamentarian Oleksandr Dubinsky, who published a copy of Avakov’s dismissal letter to Bank on his Facebook page.
“On behalf of my colleagues, I want to express my gratitude to the minister for an appropriate and timely reaction,” Dubinsky wrote.
As reported by The Algemeiner on May 11, Bank’s demand that the tiny Jewish community in Kolomyia, western Ukraine, supply him with a list of members resulted in a scandal with international reverberations.
Bank explained that he required the information because his department was “engaged in the fight against transnational and ethnic organized groups and criminal organizations.”
His letter of Feb. 11 instructed community leaders to provide a copy of the community’s charter, together with “a list of community members with addresses and mobile phones” and “a list of Jewish students in universities of Kolomyia and Ivano-Frankivsk.”
A response from the community dated Feb. 25 informed Bank that its charter was available in the state registry, adding a reminder that “religious communities are separate from the state” and pointing out that “personal data of community members can be provided only in the case of registered criminal cases.”
The demand was compared by one Jewish leader to the Nazi occupation of Ukraine during World War II.
“In 1941, the Nazis and the Ukrainian auxiliary police also demanded a list of all Jews,” said Eduard Dolinsky of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee upon seeing Bank’s letter.