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Cossacks Given Positions of Power in Moscow

MOSCOW (AP) — Renowned for their sword-fighting prowess and notorious for their anti-Semitism in czarist Russia, the Cossacks are taking on new foes: beggars, drunks and improperly parked cars. With the approval of city authorities, eight Cossacks clad in traditional fur hats and uniforms patrolled a Moscow train station on Tuesday looking for signs of […]

Main Belarusian Human Rights NGO Forcibly Evicted from Minsk

Viasna, one of the main human rights NGOs in Belarus, has been forcibly evicted from their premises in Minsk. On Monday, representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the police closed Viasna’s office space and sealed off the premises. This is another result of the case against prisoner of conscience Ales Bialiatski, whose trial was universally declared […]

Hungarian Jews Request for Russia to Return Looted Items

Jewish Hungarians, backed by the government in Budapest, have requested for Russia to return items that were looted during WWII by the Nazis and the Red Army. While they are asking for a return of all the articles — including vestments, crowns and artwork — they are most interested in receiving the Torah scrolls that […]

The Diverse Culture of Chernivtsi, Ukraine and its ‘Cinegogue’

In Maria Danilova’s article “Journey Through Time in Ukraine’s Little Paris,” she describes the rich history that is still alive in the city of Chernivtsi, Ukraine today. Before WWII, this city had several dozen synagogues, and about one third of its population was Jewish. Today, Jewish residents make up only about 2 percent of the […]

Human Rights Groups in Russia Firmly Against New ‘Foreign Agent’ Law

Human rights groups in Russia are standing firmly against the new ‘Foreign Agent’ law as it goes into effect. This law requires nonprofit groups that receive any funding from outside Russia to label themselves as “foreign agents.” In addition, it expands the legal definition of treason to include “providing financial, technical, advisory or other assistance […]

Elie Wiesel and Natan Sharansky Discuss 1987 March on Washington for Soviet Jewry

At the this year’s General Assembly (GA) of the Jewish Federations of North America, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and Natan Sharansky, former Soviet Refusenik, discussed the historical significance of the Sunday, December 6, 1987 march on Washington for Soviet Jewry. This 1987 march was the largest American Jewish demonstration in history, with over […]

Russian Activist Razvozzhayev’s Plea Denied

Russian activist Leonid Razvozzhayev’s plea to cancel a lower court’s decision to keep him in pre-trial custody was rejected last week, according to Voice of America. He is currently being held in Moscow. Razvozzhayev is a member of the radical leftist party Left Front that has taken part in anti-governmental protests since last year. He is […]

Visitors React to New Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow

The recently opened Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow has left many Russian Jewish visitors in awe at its touching detail, depth and honesty regarding the experience of Russian Jews throughout the centuries. Israeli President Shimon Peres, born in Belarus, said at the opening ceremony, “My mother sang to me in Russian, and at […]

Belarusian Political Prisoners

Yesterday, EU Commissioner Fule met with the wives of Belarusian political prisoners Mikalai Autukhovich and Alex Bialiatski to express the EU’s support for their husbands’ fight for democracy. Commissioner Fule stated,  “I fully understand the personal suffering of your husbands and your families. I call once more on the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally […]