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Dispatches: Shocked by Russia’s Intolerance

by Tanya Cooper, Human Rights Watch In recent days the presidents of Germany, France and the United States announced they wouldn’t attend the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014. None explained why they decided to skip the Games, but one can guess that the appalling human rights situation in Russia played a part. Of […]

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 […]

The Extremism and Xenophobia of Ukraine’s Svoboda (Freedom) Party

by Leonid Stonov, International Director August 2013 More than half a year has passed since the nationalist, right-wing, extremist party “Svoboda” (“Freedom”) became one of the main Ukrainian parties that crossed the parliamentary barrier and had a representative in a high position – vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament). What has happened to Ukraine? […]

Shot Dagestan Rabbi in Stable Condition

The Times of Israel has reported that Ovadia Isakov, a Chabad rabbi, was in serious but stable condition after being shot by a suspected terrorist in Russia on Thursday. Isakov is the chief rabbi of Derbent, in the Republic of Dagestan. Russia’s Investigative Committee stated that Isakov’s overt Jewish identity “is among the possible motives investigators are […]

‘Children of Refuseniks Report from the Frontlines’ Podcast

Vox Tablet, a weekly podcast, recently published “The Children of Refuseniks Report From the Frontlines of Putin’s Russia: Journalists Masha Gessen, Miriam Elder, and Michael Idov talk about a changing Russia and their place in it.” Contributor Julia Barton speaks to each of them about why they’ve chosen to live and work in the place […]

Belarus: Activist Aliaksei Shchadrou Facing Jail for Helping the Homeless

Aliaksei Shchadrou is facing a two-year prison term in Belarus for acting on behalf of an unregistered religious organization. If jailed he will be a prisoner of conscience. Aliaksei Shchadrou, a 28-year-old devout Catholic, had been running a shelter for homeless people, with a prayer room, in his detached house in a village in the […]

Ambassador Kelly’s Statement on Suspension of Russian NGO ‘Golos’

Below is a copy of the statement Ambassador Ian Kelly delivered to the Permanent Council in Vienna on July 4, 2013 regarding the six month suspension of Golos, a major independent election monitoring NGO. As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The United States is deeply concerned by the Russian Ministry of […]

UCSJ Attends Second Annual International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable

On Thursday, June 27, 2013, UCSJ’s President, Larry Lerner, and Associate Director, Maria Weissman, attended the second annual International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable event. The IRF is an informal alliance of over one hundred faith-based organizations, religious freedom advocates and NGOs. The event was held on Capitol Hill in the Cannon Caucus Room and was co-sponsored by Advocates […]

UCSJ Strongly Condemns Moscow Attack Against Russian NGO Office

The Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union (UCSJ) strongly objects to the armed attack against the All-Russia Movement For Human Rights’ central office at Maly Kislovsky street in downtown Moscow on June 21, 2013. That evening, the FSB, Police and OMON officers and soldiers stormed their office, changed all locks, threw out […]

New Memorial Complex to Be Built at Babi Yar Massacre Site

The World Forum of Russian-speaking Jews (WFRJ) announced on Sunday that a new memorial complex will be built at Babi Yar, the Ukrainian site in which approximately 50,000 Jews were massacred by Nazis during the Holocaust, The Times of Israel reports.  WRFJ President Alexander Levin presented a model of the memorial, which will include a […]