WASHINGTON, D.C. October 23, 2015
TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties
FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director
Turmoil in Moldova continues, as hundreds of protesters call for the government's resignation over a $1 billion banking fraud and prevalent corruption in the country. Moldova's parliament is set to vote next Thursday on a no-confidence motion against the government.
I recommend an interesting New York Times article on the situation in Mariupol, in Eastern Ukraine. In recent weeks violence in Donbas has significantly dropped, and the conflict is becoming 'frozen'. The new stability has brought some relief and normalcy to life in the region. However, it also increases concerns that the conflict will not be resolved any time soon, and that Moscow is likely to use the conflict as a bargaining chip with Ukraine.
Ukraine's local and regional elections will take place this Sunday, October 25. The elections will be an important test for the country's democratic institutions, and will gauge changes in public support for the government and its policies, after months of economic crisis and war.
I also want to highlight a Reuters story on Israel's hotline to Russia on Syria. The update includes several stories on Russia's ever-expanding role in the Syrian conflict, including President Bashar al-Assad's visit to Russia.
The leader of the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia announced that the region will hold a referendum on joining Russia, similar to the one that preceded Russia's annexation of Crimea. Georgia's government condemned the referendum plans and criticized Russia for continuing its policy of 'creeping occupation'.
NCSEJ reached out to the governments in the Eurasia region this week, urging them to vote against an anti-Israel UNESCO resolution. Estonia was among countries that opposed the resolution, while Ukraine and Turkmenistan abstained in the vote.
Mark B. Levin
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