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How Many “Chief Rabbis” Does Ukraine Have?

In the ongoing coverage of the turmoil, and the discussion of what it all means for the country’s Jews, you may, confusingly, have seen a number of people referred to as Ukraine’s “chief rabbi.” On one side, there’s Moshe Reuven Asman, who caused quite a bit of international consternation with his call for Kiev’s Jews to “leave the city center or […]

The Ukrainian border, where Putin, Europe and the United States risk their demise

by Vladimir Rozanskij Moscow ( AsiaNews) – The Russian word u – kraina, from which the name of the State in turmoil these days is derived, means “on the margins”, the borderline. In fact, as the first two decades of the post-Soviet area draws to a close, Ukraine as an independent nation has never existed […]

Putin’s Phantom Pogroms

Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, and his government have been deft at using the history of Ukrainian anti-Semitism to their advantage. At his first news conference after moving his troops into Crimea, Mr. Putin described right-wing fanatics in Kiev wearing armbands with swastikalike symbols, warning that, in upcoming elections, “like a Jack-in-the-box, some nationalist-type or […]

Wounded Ukrainian protesters airlifted to Israel for medical treatment

TEL AVIV (JTA) – For 17-year-old Bolodimir Bedyuk, a Ukrainian who was severely wounded in clashes with Ukrainian police on Feb. 18, Israeli medical care may be his only hope. After a pitched battle with Ukrainian police forces on Institutskaya Street in Kiev, Bedyuk suffered chest wounds and extensive liver damage — his brother Aleksei […]

Before Crimea Was an Ethnic Russian Stronghold, It Was a Potential Jewish Homeland

by Jeffrey Veidlinger   “On the way to Sevastopol, not too far from Simferopol,” begins what is probably the most famous Yiddish song from the Soviet Union, “Hey Dzhankoye.” The song, named after a collective farm near the Crimean town of Dzhankoy, celebrates the alleged victories of the Soviet collectivization drive of the 1920s and 1930s, which, […]

Russia vs. Ukraine: A clash of brothers, not cultures

by Akos Lada, Washington Post Commentators are invoking Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations“ to argue that a Cold-War-like confrontation between a Western and an Eastern civilization is in the making: A battle of two culturally-distant groups, sitting on the edges of a cultural chasm. However, what is striking about Ukraine and Russia are the cultural similaritiesrather than differences. This […]

To the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

To the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin Mr. President! We are Jewish citizens of Ukraine: businessmen, managers, religious and public figures, scientists and scholars, artists and musicians. We are addressing you on behalf of the multi-national people of Ukraine, Ukraine’s national minorities, and on behalf of the Jewish community. You have stated […]

Russian Jewish leader urges silence over Crimea

by Sam Sokol A senior leader of the Russian Jewish community has urged his Ukrainian co-religionists to remain silent regarding the Russian military’s takeover of the Crimean Peninsula last week. Russia, whose Black Sea fleet is based in the semi-autonomous region, sent troops in over the weekend, claiming to protect its citizens. There is a large ethnic Russian minority in […]

Ukraine chief rabbi accuses Russians of staging anti-Semitic ‘provocations’

NEW YORK (JTA) — Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, a chief rabbi of Ukraine, accused Russia of staging anti-Semitic “provocations” in Crimea in order to justify its invasion of the former Soviet republic. At a press conference in the Manhattan office of the United Jewish Communities of Eastern Europe, Bleich compared Russia’s behavior to that of […]