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Ukrainian Jewish businessman found shot dead

(JTA) — A Ukrainian Jewish businessman was shot dead in Lviv. The body of Felix Vrotslavsky, 56, was found Tuesday on Zelenoy Street, on the city’s southeastern edge. The murder was first reported by the news site zik.ua, citing an unnamed police source. A witness told police that Vrotslavsky’s body was thrown out of a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Fleeing civil war, thousands of Ukrainians take refuge in Israel

They streamed off the shuttle buses into Terminal One of Ben-Gurion Airport, amid loud Hebrew music and green-clad soldiers waving Israeli flags. Chatting in Russian, the new immigrants, many of them refugees from the ongoing civil war in Ukraine’s industrial east, arrived here seeking a new life in the Jewish state. More than 5,000 Ukrainian […]

RUSSIA: Kaliningrad and Moscow struggles for places of worship

By Victoria Arnold, Forum 18 News Service In Russia’s capital Moscow Hare Krishna devotees are appealing against a unilaterally terminated land lease and the denial of building permission for a temple by the authorities. “We will pursue both cases through every level of the courts, to be able to appeal to the European Court of […]

Research team using imaging to study Shoah killing sites in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — An international team of researchers launched a study of Holocaust-era killing sites in the Kremenets region in western Ukraine. The project was initiated this year by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA, whose April report on killing sites ruled out conducting archaeological digs in such locales, as it violates Jewish religious laws. […]

Huddling by fire, Jews in rebel-held Ukraine keep synagogue alive

LUGANSK, Ukraine (JTA) — In an unheated synagogue with no running water, a dozen Jews are trying to keep warm as temperatures here veer toward the single digits. Not moving too much helps keep the warmth under their thick coats, they say, a technique developed as the group gathered at least once a week to […]

Ukraine’s Jews praise easing of Israeli immigration policy

Jewish community leaders from eastern Ukraine on Thursday praised Israel’s decision to ease immigration requirements for refugees fleeing their country’s ongoing civil war, painting the move as a much needed humanitarian gesture. Last week, the Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Borders Authority issued an internal directive relaxing rules requiring certain documents from prospective immigrants from […]

Discrimination, Disappearances and Exile of Leaders – The Desperate Situation of the Crimean Tatars since Russia’s Illegal Annexation of Crimea

In March 2014, Russia illegally took control over Crimea and annexed it to its territory after a heavily criticized referendum. Since then, the situation of the Crimean Tatars, the indigenous population of the peninsula who had already suffered a full-scale deportation under the Soviet Union in the 1940s, significantly worsened. They face serious and systemic […]