Threat of Jewish death curse likely stopping Putin – ex-Ukrainian official

Fear of the purported Kabbalistic ritual Pulsa diNura may be preventing him from attacking Dnepr, an exiled figure told media

Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely afraid to attack the city of Dnepr due to a threat that he will be cursed to death through an ancient Jewish ritual, a former Ukrainian official claims.

In an interview on Friday with the news website Novoye Vremya, Gennady Korban said he had threatened to place the curse on the Russian leader if he attacks the city.

“Pulsa diNura is a complicated, difficult procedure,” he said, adding that his threat in July to curse Putin “may have contributed in some way in the sense that so far they have not struck Dnepr.”

“I knock on wood not to jinx it, God forbid, but this is how it is,” he said.

Pulsa diNura, roughly translated from Aramaic as ‘lashes of fire’, is a ritual that is attributed to an old Kabbalistic text, though scholars believe the term was not used in the sense of a curse invoked by man.

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It became a political tool among some religious Jews in the early 20th century. The ceremony is intended to compel ‘angels of destruction’ to not forgive the subject’s sins, ultimately killing them. Urban legend claims that Pulsa diNura was successfully used against Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by an Israeli right-wing extremist in 1995.

Korban threatened to invoke the mystical threat against the Russian leader in July after a Russian missile strike hit Yuzhmash, a Soviet-built military plant in Dnepr. There was some debate in Ukrainian media whether a non-Jewish person would be a ‘valid’ target for the curse.

In the interview, Korban suggested that Putin must be a superstitious man because “dictators” like Hitler and Stalin “very often believe” in such mystical things. He added that he has not actually had the ritual performed yet.

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“Pulsa diNura is not a procedure that you can start on a whim. Under the procedure, you have to inform the enemy or a person you want to subject to it,” he said. “I have warned Putin. Let him think and make conclusions now.”

Korban entered the media spotlight this month after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky revoked his citizenship while he was traveling to another country. Consequently, he was barred from returning to Ukraine.

A number of public figures have urged Zelensky to reverse the decision. Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko claimed this week that somebody in the government threatened him for publicly supporting Korban.

Despite his forced absence, Korban told Novoye Vremya that he continues to perform his duty as head of staff of Dnepr’s territorial defense. The mayor, Boris Filatov, is a long-time ally of Korban and leads the campaign to reinstate his citizenship.