Weekly News Update 
WASHINGTON, D.C. March 6, 2015


TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director
Dear Friend,
The fragile ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine is holding, but it is unclear if it will last. Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to be gripped by severe economic and humanitarian crises.

This week, to meet IMF conditions for more bailout funds, Ukraine's parliament approved an extensive package of reforms affecting pensions, the budget, the energy sector, and other areas.

The update includes a number of articles on the murder of Boris Nemtsov last week in Moscow, and the implications of his death for the fractured Russian opposition. I want to highlight an opinion piece by Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt in the Tablet magazine, which discusses Nemtsov's Jewish identity, and the struggle of many Russians of Jewish descent to openly express their Jewishness in Soviet times and still today in modern Russia.

On Sunday, I spoke at the AIPAC's annual Policy Conference, on a panel with American Foreign Policy Council Vice President Ilan Berman, discussing Russia's paradoxical approach to the Middle East. We discussed Russia's cultural ties and areas of close cooperation with Israel, Russia's broader Middle East policy, relations with Iran and other critical developments in the region. This important and timely debate generated a great deal of interest among the conference participants, and attendance at the discussion was high.



Mark B. Levin

Executive Director

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Founded in 1971, NCSEJ represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union. 
Website:  www.ncsej.org   
Email:  ncsejinfo@ncsej.org 
Phone: 202-898-2500 
NCSEJ is a beneficiary of The Jewish Federations of North America and the National Federation/Agency Alliance through its network of Federations.