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US decries anti-Semitic leaflets in Ukraine

Thursday - 4/17/2014, 5:11pm  ET

By MATTHEW LEE
AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. is condemning instances of religious intolerance that are inflaming tensions in Ukraine.

Among them is the distribution of leaflets demanding that Jews in eastern Ukraine identify themselves.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the leaflets are, quote, ``grotesque and beyond unacceptable.'' He also denounces apparent threats to members of the Russian Orthodox Church from members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Kerry says no such behavior can be tolerated. He's in Geneva for talks on Ukraine

The anti-Semitic leaflets recall the Nazi-era persecution of Jews. U.S. officials in Washington say they've appeared recently in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk amid pro- and anti-Russian protests.

The State Department says it is looking into who is responsible but takes the threat seriously no matter who is behind the leaflets.

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