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Rights in Russia

Rights in Russia: Week-ending 19 June 2015 [see also as attachment] in English On the harassment of the Dynasty Foundation in Russia Lawyer Ivan Pavlov: military losses in peacetime cannot be state secret Committee Against Torture to renew work from former apartment of Natalya Estemirova General Prosecutor’s Office unable to inspect five organizations regarding ‘undesirable’ […]

Russian Chabad rabbi slams foreign funding bill

(JTA) — In a rare rebuke of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policy, a senior Chabad rabbi from Moscow expressed concerns over a bill aiming to limit foreign involvement. Boruch Gorin, aide to Chief Russian Rabbi Berel Lazar and chairman of Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, on Tuesday expressed his criticism of a government-backed bill […]

Teacher at Chabad Preschool Killed in Donetsk, Ukraine; Rockets Land Near Synagogue Teacher at Chabad Preschool Killed in Donetsk, Ukraine; Rockets Land Near Synagogue

Irina Shelkayeba was cooking supper last night in her apartment in Donetsk when a rocket slammed into her apartment, instantly killing her. She was an active member of the Donetsk Jewish community and a teacher in their OhrAvner Preschool, according to Rabbi Aryeh Schvartz, assistant to the community’s chief rabbi. Shelkayeba—whose 30-year-old son lived with […]

Jews Struggling to Survive as Fighting Intensifies in Eastern Ukraine

In eastern Ukraine, Jews are scrambling to survive as fighting intensifies between Russian-backed rebels and the Ukraine army. At least nine people were killed this morning (Jan. 22) when a civilian bus was shelled in the city of Donetsk, capital of the province bearing the same name. The Ukraine defense ministry told the BBCthat its […]

UNESCO Holocaust exhibition nixed following Latvian protests

Riga officials said to object on grounds exposition on children in the Salaspils concentration camp would damage their country’s image Latvian officials prevented the opening of an exhibition about the Holocaust that Russia wanted to host at a United Nations building. The exposition, titled “Stolen childhood: Holocaust victims Seen by Child Inmates of Salaspils Nazi […]

Russia: Government against Rights Groups

In 2012 Russia’s parliament adopted a law that required nongovernmental organizations (NGO)s to register as “foreign agents” with the Ministry of Justice if they engage in “political activity” and receive foreign funding. The definition of “political activity” under the law is so broad and vague that it can extend to all aspects of advocacy and human rights work. […]

Kyiv Making Gains in Religious Dimension of the Ukrainian-Russian Conflict

Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to use religion to advance an expansionist agenda. But an increasing number of believers in Ukraine appear to be rejecting the notion that Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church are the defenders of the true faith. Religion became a battleground in Ukraine long before the Euromaidan movement gained power […]

Russian Orthodox Activists Say Charlie Hebdo Shooting Was ‘Just Punishment’

Russian Orthodox activists rallied outside the French Embassy in Moscow with signs blaming this week’s massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo on the newspaper’s own practice of lampooning various religions — and on the French government for tolerating its satire. While scores of Muscovites laid flowers outside the embassy to extend their condolences to the families of the 12 people killed in the attack and their grieving nation, a handful of Orthodox demonstrators […]

Christian-funded group preaches Israel immigration gospel to Ukraine refugees

Back in the late 1960s, among the thousands of protesters at a downtown New York mass rally for Soviet Jewry, a young Yechiel Eckstein sat on the ground, chanting, “One two three four, open up the Iron Door; five six seven eight, let our people emigrate.” The rabbis of his school, the Yeshiva University High […]

Will Russia’s economic woes burst bubble for Jews?

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (JTA) — In the basement of one of Europe’s largest synagogues, 100 Jews are waiting to meet local film star Boris Smolkin. The crowd applauds enthusiastically as the 66-year-old funnyman, who gave his voice to Master Yoda in the Russian-language version of the “Star Wars” trilogy, sucks daintily on an electronic cigarette […]