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Hebrew teacher assaulted in possible anti-Semitic attack in Kiev

(JTA) A Hebrew teacher in Kiev was assaulted in what Jewish community representatives described as a rare and violent anti-Semitic attack. Four men ambushed the Israel-born teacher, Hillel Wertheimer, on Saturday night at his apartment building after following him home from synagogue services, according to Joseph Zissels, chairman of the Vaad Association of Jewish Organizations […]

Fury Over Biographical Stalin Calendar Published by Orthodox Church

by Anna Dolgov A publishing house run by the Russian Orthodox Church has released a 2014 calendar devoted to Josef Stalin, unleashing a flurry of indignation among Russian bloggers and a discussion about the Church’s ties to the former Soviet dictator. The calendar, published by the Moscow-based patriarchal printing house of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius monastery, presents pictures of Stalin, accompanied by excerpts from his biography. The photographs show Stalin […]

Despite prisoner amnesty, oppressive Russia escalating harassment of dissenters

by Jane Buchanan, Human Rights Watch The world’s attention has been captivated in recent days by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he will pardon businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky. This came a day after parliament adopted an amnesty that will free the two imprisoned Pussy Riot band members’ and charges were dropped against the Artic 30 […]

Journalists Persecuted by Judges in Rostov-On-Don

The release of Mikhail Khodorkovski, Pussy Riot and Greenpeace activists must not divert attention from the many other threats to fundamental freedoms in Russia Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the judicial harassment of journalists critical of the authorities in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don. Sergei Reznik, a well-known journalist and blogger, has been sentenced to […]

Russia terror analysis: Volgograd and an Olympics under threat

by Andrei Soldatov When Dokku Umarov, the leader of the Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, issued a statement six months ago promising a strike on the Olympics in Sochi, Russian authorities were faced with two major questions. Experts and the secret services asked whether militants still possessed the capabilities to hit beyond the North […]

Muslim Couple Preserves Remnants of Jewish Life in Uzbekistan

http://forward.com/articles/189713/muslim-couple-preserves-remnants-of-jewish-life-in/ By Alanna E. Cooper, the Jewish Daily Forward As the sun set over Bukhara, Uzbekistan on a recent Friday evening, I joined the local community in welcoming the Sabbath. This was my first time back to the historic spot on the Silk Road since I first visited in the 1990s. At that time, Uzbekistan had […]

Amnestied Pussy Riot pair criticise Putin after release

(Reuters) – Two members of Russian punk protest band Pussy Riot were freed from prison on Monday, deriding President Vladimir Putin’s amnesty that led to their early release as a propaganda stunt and promising to fight for human rights. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, shouted “Russia without Putin” following her release from a Siberian prison, hours after […]

Harassment will continue despite Putin’s amnesty

The harassment of civil society in Russia will continue unabated despite the release of prisoners of conscience, said Amnesty International today. The organization has long campaigned for the immediate and unconditional release of a number of prisoners of conscience (POCs) freed recently under President Putin’s amnesty. Several others being tried in connection with the 2012 […]

Dispatches: Shocked by Russia’s Intolerance

by Tanya Cooper, Human Rights Watch In recent days the presidents of Germany, France and the United States announced they wouldn’t attend the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014. None explained why they decided to skip the Games, but one can guess that the appalling human rights situation in Russia played a part. Of […]