Updated List of Nongovernmental Organizations Targeted under the “Foreign Agents” Law

In early March 2013 the Russian government launched an unprecedented, nationwide campaign of inspections of thousands of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to identify advocacy groups the government deems “foreign agents” and force them to register as such. The list below tracks the legal consequences of the law on dozens of NGOs. Since the beginning of the “foreign agents” campaign, various […]

Lithuanian lawmaker: Jews only want to take money

(JTA) – Lithuania’s prime minister condemned a lawmaker for suggesting Jews are cheap and “are just looking to take from Lithuania.” “I judge this statement to be very negative and it doesn’t represent the party’s position,” Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said Dec. 23, according to the news site Delfi.lt. A spokesperson for Butkevicius’ Social Democratic Party of […]

St. Petersburg Jews searching for identity

After decades of assimilation, young members of Russian city’s Jewish community are connecting to their roots through Jewish student clubs, synagogue activities and annual Limmud festival SAINT PETERSBURG – When Tsar Peter the Great founded Saint Petersburg, the northern pearl of the Great Russia, about 310 years ago, he didn’t imagine a reality which would see […]

Russian Orthodox Church is open to dialogue with Pussy Riot, but without provocations

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=10982  The Moscow Patriarchate is hoping that the members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot who have been released from prison today after being amnestied will improve. “Every person has a right to make public statements, honest debates, and competition of ideas. However, when political manipulations and dangerous provocations happen, it’s unacceptable,” Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the […]

Flashback to 1970 Leningrad Trial

Widespread Demonstrations in Israel Protesting Leningrad Trial and New Trials December 22, 1970 JERUSALEM (Dec. 21) JTA Israel was still seething with protest today over the Leningrad trial and new trials of Jews expected to start soon in the Soviet Union. Demonstrations were held on university campuses in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. The trial […]

Putting aside historical slogans, protesting for a better Ukraine

By Jeremy Borovitz KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — As I stood as one of the few Americans among the masses of protesters at Kiev’s Independence Square, the frigid cold reminded me that this was my fourth year trying to survive a harsh Ukrainian winter. The crowd seemed to be warming up thanks to the incessant chants — […]

Growing xenophobia may spur inter-ethnic tensions – Public Chamber experts

A draft report of the Russian Public Chamber, “On the Status of Russia’s Civil Society”, affirms a growth of aggressive xenophobia in the country. “Aggressive xenophobia is a serious challenge to contemporary Russia. Xenophobia reached its peak in 2013, according to a survey of the Levada Center, which said that 70-80 percent of the Russian […]

Putin says he’ll pardon oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky

(JTA) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will pardon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former Russian oil tycoon who has been jailed for more than 10 years. Putin made the announcement at the end of a four-hour news conference in Moscow, saying Khodorkovsky requested the pardon on humanitarian grounds, since his mother is ill. “I think […]

Avoid anti-Semitism in hot EU debate, Senate urges Ukraine pols

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A call on political parties in Ukraine to refrain from anti-Semitism was part of a resolution proposed in the Senate expressing its support for Ukrainians seeking a closer alignment with the European Union. The resolution, introduced Dec. 13 by a bipartisan slate of senators — Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Jeanne […]

Russian Jews win Rostov Holocaust commemoration fight

(JTA) — The Russian city of Rostov-on-Don has agreed to acknowledge the Jewish identity of Holocaust victims killed there by the Nazis. The municipality’s Memorial Council last week announced its decision to revise a memorial plaque at the Zmievskaya Balka mass grave to mention the Jewish identity of the majority of the approximately 27,000 bodies […]