Weekly News Update 

WASHINGTON, D.C. October 24, 2014



TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director
Dear Friend,

Ukraine's early parliamentary elections will take place this Sunday. Ukrainian authorities are concerned about potential disruptions prior to and during the elections. Observers remain concerned about the ability of the new government to unite in implementing crucial reform.


NCSEJ continues to monitor the situation in Ukraine and issued two pre-election reports that are available on our web site. We will distribute a post-election analysis early next week.


I would also like to recommend the Economist article "The battle for Ukraine's future," which describes the general mood in the country on the eve of this critical vote.


Yesterday, Israel's Foreign Ministry condemned a production in Latvia of a play about the life of Nazi war criminal Herbert Cukurs. NCSEJ joins in condemning the play, which commemorates an individual who participated in the mass murder of Jews in Latvia during WWII. While the Latvian government issued an initial statement questioning the production of the show, it must speak out more forcefully against this play and any tribute glorifying Nazi war criminals.


In another disturbing development, a Nazi beauty pageant was running on VKontakte, a social network popular in Russia and other FSU countries. After a surge in criticism by human rights groups, the social network removed the page. However, many other neo-Nazi groups remain active online in Russia, which is a growing and dangerous problem.


Finally, I would like to recommend an op-ed by Ambassadors Michael McFaul and Stephen Sestanovich in Foreign Policy, in response to an earlier piece by Dr. John J. Mearsheimer. The analysis by Ambassadors McFaul and Sestanovich gives a great insight into motivations behind Russia's foreign and domestic policies.



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. 
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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