Weekly News Update 
WASHINGTON, D.C. October 16, 2015
TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties
FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director
Dear Friend,

While the situation in Ukraine has been less volatile for the past several weeks, the frozen conflict and the economic crisis continue to take a toll on the Ukrainian populace.
Many analysts worry that Ukrainians are increasingly impatient with a slow pace of change and the unending unrest in the east. Such sentiments may be exploited by the nationalist parties that advocate a more radical approach to Ukraine's problems. The update includes articles that analyze the implications of the potential growth of Ukraine's far right if the current government fails to deliver on its promises.
Ukraine was elected to serve on the U.N. Security Council as a non-permanent member. Ukrainian officials said that they will use the opportunity to press Russia to stop fueling conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
Midrasha Zionist of Kiev, the Jewish Agency and the Harry O. Triguboff Israel Institute of Conversion Policy joined together to launch a new program in Ukraine to aid aliyah. The 'Maslul' program aims to assist those who want to make aliyah but currently don't qualify, by helping them to begin conversion to Judaism before they leave for Israel.
Aleksandr Lukashenka won his fifth term as president of Belarus on Sunday by an overwhelming majority (over 83 percent of the vote). The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) noted "significant problems" with the way the vote was conducted. Protesters took to the streets after the election, but the number of demonstrators was small.
The update includes several interesting pieces about Russia's growing involvement in Syria.

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   
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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.