April 25, 2014
TO: NCSJ Leadership and Interested Parties
FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSJ Executive Director
Last week, an NCSJ staff member visited Kyiv and the Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine. In her words, Ukraine urgently needs international support.
In the Donetsk region, the majority of people oppose joining Russia, but many are also critical of the interim government in Kyiv. Some blame the
government for failing to protect Crimea and prevent the Russian takeover, and for failing to stop the unrest in Eastern Ukraine.
People in the Donetsk region are also holding the interim government at least partly accountable for the dire economic situation. Prices for food, and
other necessities have risen quickly; in some cases, as with medicine, prices have doubled. Shootings, unrest, and economic hardship are hurting the
interim government's credibility in the region.
In Eastern Ukraine and Kyiv, people are hoping that the United States and Europe will do more to help their country. Especially in the Donetsk region,
people are in desperate need of economic support, and the financial aid pledged by the U.S. and IMF has yet to make an impact. Unfortunately, some in
Eastern Ukraine feel the international community has abandoned them.
Nevertheless, Ukrainians are hopeful about the upcoming presidential elections on May 25. "All we want is stability and peace, and to be able to build our
own future without disruptions and destabilizing actions by our neighboring country," said a resident of the city of Artemivsk in Eastern Ukraine,
articulating a prevalent opinion.
This week, NCSJ and AJC co-hosted a meeting in Washington DC for representatives of American Jewish organizations with Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine
Danylo Lubkivsky. NCSJ also met with him at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations in New York.
Young and energetic, the Deputy Foreign Minister conveyed a positive message about building a strong and stable Ukraine, with the help of the United States
as a partner.
Mr. Lubkivsky said his government is committed to fighting corruption and implementing meaningful reforms. He added that the Ukrainian people will hold the
current government and future leaders accountable for fulfilling the promises of the Maidan revolution.
Mr. Lubkivsky also expressed his government's commitment to protecting Jews and other minorities and building a tolerant and free society. He condemned all
manifestations of intolerance, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. In particular, he strongly condemned the recent distribution of anti-Semitic fliers in Donetsk
and pledged to find and prosecute those responsible.
Mark B. Levin
for NCSJ's Weekly News Update.
NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia,
Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia, founded
represents the organized American Jewish
in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the
estimated 1.5 million Jews living in the 15
states of the former Soviet Union.
NCSJ is a beneficiary of The
Federations of North America and the National
through its network of