Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

29 Sivan 5761 - June 20, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Observations: A Case of False Identity
by Nosson Grossman

Ma'ariv had an interesting article about the Dolphinarium tragedy two weeks ago. It turns out that one of the twenty youngsters killed in that suicide bombing, a certain "Roman Gorochovsky," aged 20, was actually someone named Sergei Panshcheskov. His body was flown to the Ukraine under his real name, and that was how it became known that the young Ukrainian had entered Israel under a false identity!

The Ukrainian embassy in Israel and the dead man's mother chose not to publicize any details about this episode. Even the Israeli police, which publishes names of terror victims, did not make any announcements about having published the wrong name of this victim. It was only after Ma'ariv asked the police for clarification that it confirmed the report. The Ma'ariv correspondent writes that the suspicions of Foreign Ministry officials in charge of handing out information after the attack were first aroused when they discovered that the victim's name published in the Ukrainian media was different from the one that appeared in Israel.

The Israeli embassy in the Ukraine, whose workers were busy issuing passports to relatives of the victims to enable them to fly to Israel as quickly as possible, noted that no relatives of "Roman Gorochovsky" had made any applications for passports. When a representative of the Israeli embassy in Kiev spoke to the Ukrainian embassy in Israel he was only told that the matter was a "complicated" one.

A government spokesman said that Panshcheskov's mother had been living in Israel for several years without the necessary permits. It seems that Sergei, her only son, had tried to join her in Israel about a year ago. Having failed to obtain a visa under his real name, he managed to obtain one with a passport in the name of Roman Gorochovsky, with which he entered Israel as a tourist. It is still unclear whether this passport was bought from someone by that name who lives in the Ukraine and whose name was thus mistakenly published as a victim of the bombing, or whether it was a completely forged passport.

His real identity was only discovered after he was killed, and Sergei was eventually flown to the Ukraine and buried there under his real name. Incidentally, Interior Ministry officials have revealed that Sergei's mother intends to return to Israel and ask for compensation from the State for her son's death.


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