NCSEJ
Weekly News Update 
WASHINGTON, D.C. December 5, 2014



 

TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director
  
Hopeful expectations are growing that Ukraine's newly formed government may be able to meet the serious challenges facing the country. The new government, which was approved by the Rada on Tuesday, includes three foreigners: former U.S. diplomat Natalie Jaresko, Lithuanian-born Aivaras Abromavicius, and Georgian native Alexander Kvitashvili. The new Cabinet pledged to move quickly on vital reforms, including combatting widespread corruption.

The formation of the new government took place as authorities and pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine negotiated this week to renew their commitment to the ceasefire agreement. Despite these talks, two more civilians and six soldiers have been killed today in Donetsk as a result of shelling.

Parliamentary elections took place in Moldova last Sunday, resulting in a narrow majority for a coalition of pro-European parties. However, the pro-Russian Socialist party received the most votes of any one party, reflecting divisions within Moldovan society about the country's future. Russia condemned the vote for "gross violations," while international observers called it "a largely well-run election." Experts anticipate that forming a ruling coalition will be a challenge, and that Moldova's divided politics test its commitment to European integration.

On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin gave his annual "State of the Nation" address to the Russian parliament, in which he accused the West of trying to isolate Russia and "contain its growing possibilities" by using Ukraine as a pretext. Calling the Maidan revolution in Ukraine an illegitimate coup, he accused the United States of continuously meddling in Russia's relations with its neighbors. President Putin also praised Russia's "historical reunification with Crimea...[that is]...of huge and sacred importance to Russia, just like the Temple Mount is to those who follow Judaism and Islam." The speech signaled no change in Russia's foreign policy, which President Putin justified with heightened patriotic rhetoric. The full text of the speech is included in the update.

In a disturbing development on Tuesday, Shlomo (Fyodor) Romanovsky a yeshiva student was severely beaten outside his yeshiva near Moscow. The Jewish community of Moscow said that authorities have opened an investigation into the attack. While it hasn't been confirmed, the fact that the incident took near the yeshiva might indicate that this was an anti-Semitic attack. NCSEJ has called on the authorities to swiftly investigate and bring to justice those responsible.

There is still time to register for the NCSEJ Board of Governors meeting next week, on Tuesday, December 9, at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, D.C., featuring U.S. Senator Cory Booker (NJ), U.S. State Department Envoy on Combating Anti-Semitism Ira Forman, and Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Yaakov Bleich. For more information, please visit http://conta.cc/1wFaBD6.

Sincerely,

 

Mark B. Levin

Executive Director




Please visit http://ncsej.org/NCSEJ-Wkly.pdf  
for NCSEJ's Weekly News Update.


About NCSEJ
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   
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. 
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