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As tensions continue with Russia, Ukrainian Catholic leader meets pope

Pope Francis met privately at the Vatican with the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church March 17, the day after pro-Russian voters on the Crimean peninsula voted to secede from Ukraine in a referendum the United States and European Union called illegal. While Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, head of the Eastern-rite church in Ukraine, […]

Three Jews Among Those Killed in Ukraine Uprising

Balaclava-clad far-right paramilitaries fire into the air at the funeral in Ukraine of an anti-government protestor. This is not a tribute to a fellow right-wing nationalist, but to a Jewish construction worker, Alexander Scherbanyuk. Of the approximately 100 people killed during the protests in Kiev that swept Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich from power in February, three […]

Purim 1953: Jews in the Communist empire

by Yosef Begun, Larry Pfeffer Jews in the Former Soviet Union are generally well aware that the Russian-dominated part of the Communist empire was getting increasingly anti-Semitic after 1948, when it became clear Israel would not turn “red.” What might have been had Stalin stayed in power? Yosef Begun’s memories from Moscow  Two years after […]

Ukrainian Jewish leaders blame Russia for anti-Semitic ‘provocations’

by Sam Sokol An attack on a Ukrainian rabbi over the weekend was a provocation, intended as a “justification for the continuation of Russian aggression” in Crimea, one Ukrainian Jewish leader asserted on Saturday. Such violence serves to “discredit the new government of Ukraine,” Josef Zissels, chairman of the Vaad of Ukraine and a vice president of […]

Ukraine crisis: Moscow rally opposes Crimea intervention

Holding Russian and Ukrainian flags, they shouted: “The occupation of Crimea is Russia’s disgrace.” A smaller pro-Moscow rally was being held elsewhere. Moscow supports the vote, which Ukraine and the West have dismissed as illegal. Kiev says Russian “provocateurs” are behind clashes in eastern Ukraine. Three people have died in pro- and anti-Moscow rallies in […]

RUSSIA: Two fines, two more sentences imminent, court-ordered book destructions

Two readers of Islamic theologian Said Nursi have been fined in Tatarstan for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief, with sentences on a further two expected on 19 March, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. Although a similar criminal case in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad has been abandoned, a criminal investigation […]

Ukrainian Catholics fear ‘new oppression’ after Russian takeover

By Jonathan Luxmoore Catholic News Service OXFORD, England (CNS) — A Ukrainian Catholic priest in Crimea said church members are alarmed and frightened by the Russian military occupation and fear their communities might be outlawed again if Russian rule becomes permanent. Father Mykhailo Milchakovskyi, a pastor in Kerch, Ukraine, described the atmosphere as tense because […]