The Spies Who Love Putin

How the FSB’s loyalty to Russia’s president made it the country’s most powerful intelligence agency Ria Novosti / Kremlin / Alexei Druzhinin / Reuters It’s tempting to look to the playbooks and historical traditions of the late Soviet Union to explain the audacity of today’s Russian intelligence activity, from its meddling in U.S. elections, to […]

Teacher Talking About Yoga is Arrested in Russia For Illegal Missionary Activity

A yoga teacher in Russia was arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia on the charge of indulging in missionary activities. The arrest was carried out amidst fears that the teacher’s talks would led to the creation of new religious cults. Russia currently has a law in place banning all missionary activities. The yoga teacher’s speech was […]

What makes Putin tick, and what the West should do

Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy Friday, January 13, 2017 Editor’s Note:This piece is adapted with permission from “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin” By Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy (Brookings Institution Press, 2015). In the book, they aimed to answer the question of who is Russian President Vladimir Putin and what motivates him. The authors […]

‘Shlichut’ under fire: Jewish Agency emissary to Ukraine expects aliya to rise

BySteve Linde 14 January 2017 Roman Polonsky, director of the Jewish Agency’s Department for Russian-speaking Jewry, says aliya from Ukraine has actually tripled in the last three years. UKRAINIAN OLIM prepare to fly to Israel.. (photo credit:SVETLANA MIKHALCHENKO) Although it is hardly reported in the media, two or three and sometimes up to 10 people […]

RUSSIA: Religious freedom survey, January 2017

By Victoria Arnold, Forum 18 Russian laws restricting freedom of religion and belief have increased, as have prosecutions of people exercising this freedom. Given intensifying official hostility to independent public activities without state permission, freedom of religion and belief and interlinked human rights may in future be increasingly restricted. Since Vladimir Putin re-election as President […]

HRW Report: Threats To Human Rights Increased In 2016

Human Rights Watch (HRW) warns that human rights are increasingly in danger as strongman leaders in countries such as Russia, Turkey, and China step up their repression of dissent and populist parties rise in the West. The international rights group says in its World Report 2017 that the past 12 months have seen many authoritarian […]

Lithuania Is Building a Convention Center Over Vilna’s Jewish Cemetery. Here’s How You Can Protest

Locals and top Jewish historians are fighting to prevent the bulldozing of the burial site of one of Europe’s most historic Jewish communities By Yair Rosenberg For centuries, the city of Vilna (today Vilnius) was the center of Jewish life in what was then known as Polish-Lithuania. By the turn of the 20th century, the Lithuanian capital boasted […]

Wiesenthal Center pans Svoboda march but many Ukrainian Jews aren’t worried

While Ukrainian leaders have condemned anti-Semitism, some charge that the government has turned a blind eye to the ascension of racist figures due to their role in combating separatists. JEWS ATTEND the morning prayer at a synagogue in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, earlier this year. (photo credit:REUTERS) A new year’s torchlight march through downtown Ukraine in […]

UCSJ RESPONSE

Our colleague Meylakh Sheykhet in Lvov responds strongly to the article, below, which I posted yesterday.         The article shows that the authorities in Ukraine do not care about preserving the fate of ethnic groups.  The cross in Uman was erected especially to hurt Jews, since the place was chosen exactly next to the bank of […]