web analytics
May 31, 2016 / 23 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Putin’

Rabbi in Crimea Makes it Out on the Last Train

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Clarification and Update:

Wording in the title of this article has been changed from “Rabbi in Crimea Escapes with Torah Scroll” to “Rabbi in Crimea Makes it Out on the Last Train”, to avoid any potential misunderstanding that Rabbi Yitzchok Meyer Lipszyc may have stolen the Torah from the Crimea war zone, or abandoned his community in its time of need.

The Torah was moved to a safer location in Simferopol, and Rabbi Lipszyc was advised by his superiors at Chabad headquarters to temporarily move his center of operations out of Crimea. The Rabbi is still working with his community via Skype, phone and email.

JewishPress.com apologizes for any misunderstanding the title may have caused if read out of context from the text of the article.

Crimea’s Chabad Rabbi Yitzchak Meyer Lipszyc escaped Simferopol with his wife on the last train that left the area before the Russian sealed it off.

“The main action in Crimea was taking place right across the street from our synagogue,” said Rabbi Lipszyc, who has been a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea, for more than two decades. “There were demonstrations with over 30,000 people. The protestors were pro-Ukrainian. But eventually the ones who took over were in the unidentified uniforms—they were obviously Russian military. There was Cossacks there too; for Jews that was a bit scary because of their history in the pogroms.”

Lipszyc spoke told JNS.org, “For the last 22 years under the Ukrainian government, everything has been going very well. When this situation began, it turned things upside down. We were told by Chabad headquarters to get out and we barely made it out. My wife in fact got the last two tickets on a train out of Simferopol on the night before everything got sealed off by the Russians.

He said that despite the referendum that was almost unanimous for annexation by Russia, the thinks “most of the people wanted to stay with Ukraine, because that was what they were familiar with, but then when the Russians took over the media and propaganda switched the other way, within days we saw it swing towards being overwhelmingly pro-Russian.’

The situation is even worse for Americans like the rabbi, he added. “Americans were persona-non-gratis for both Ukrainians and Russians at this time. For Russians it is because of the stance the American government has taken against Russia. While on the Ukraine side they are deeply disappointed that America is not doing enough to help them.

“Oddly enough we had to leave there more because we were Americans and not because we were Jewish.”

Nevertheless, the atmosphere was anything but comfortable for Jews. Rabbi Lipszyc said that the Russian troops cordoned off the synagogue and that he and his wife moved to their house.

At his wife’s suggestion, they decided to move away as far as possible and wrote a note to the Lubavitcher Rebbe to ask his help to get them out.

“Believe it or not, when our friend reached the military checkpoint, he explained to them that we needed to retrieve the Torah out of the synagogue, [the Russian soldier] suddenly moved out of the way and removed the barriers to let him,” according to the rabbi. “On his way out, the solider actually even apologized to him for the inconvenience, which was unheard of there! It was a miracle. We were able to move our Torahs to a safer location in Simferopol, where services were held for several weeks.””

Despite anti-Semitism, Jews are able to practice without interference. However, he noted, “We have to prepare for Passover and need to raise a lot of money to help with the extra costs. We not only need extra security, but we have taken loses during the process.

“We were getting our kosher meat from Ukraine; we had ordered and paid for it, but they [Russian forces] didn’t let it through. We also paid for the Matzos, but that didn’t get through either. We need to figure out how to all our supplies through now. We are appealing to everyone to help out the Jewish community there.”

Sam Kliger, the American Jewish Committee’s director of Russian Jewish community affairs, told JNS.org that according to international law and most Western observers, the referendum was illegitimate.

“In 1991, Crimea went to independent Ukraine because, since 1954, it was part of Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic which in turn was an integral part of the Soviet Union,” said Kliger. “That is why nobody really cared. As long as it was a part of the USSR, it did not really matter whether it is formally a part of Russia or Ukraine. Now Russia, using as pretext the instability created by Ukrainian revolution and imaginary ‘discrimination’ against ethnic Russians, just grabbed the opportunity to return Crimea to where, according to Russia, it historically belongs.”

JNS News Service

US Rejects Arming Ukraine’s Interim Government

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

The Obama administration has rejected an appeal from the interim government in Ukraine that the United States send arms, ammunition and intelligence support, senior officials said Thursday.

With Vladimir Putin breathing down his neck, the last thing President Barack Obama needs is doing anything to aggravate the Russian bear, who already is fuming at the United States for “interfering” in what he calls Russian affairs.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia on Thursday that it faces a “very serious series” of steps from both the us and Europe if it claims sovereignty over Ukraine’s strategic Crimean peninsula

Jewish Press News Briefs

Russia Test-Fires ICBM

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Russia test-fired an ICBM on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The missile was launched near the Caspian sea and hit a target in Kazakhstan.

The launch was probably a warning shot related to the Ukrainian tensions.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Security Cams Show Moment Russians Take Crimean Government Building

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Security camera footage uploaded by Reuters show the moment armed men seized a government building in the Crimean city of Simferopol.

On Saturday, Russian armed forces occupied Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, after the Russian Parliament authorized President Vladimir Putin to use military force in order to control the chaos in the Ukraine.

On Friday, President Barack Obama used strong language to warn Russia against invading Ukrainian territory, saying: “We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine … Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interests of Ukraine, Russia or Europe. It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people.

“It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws.”

The authorization given by the Russian parliament was based on a threat to the lives of Russian citizens and soldiers stationed in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine, essentially thumbing Russia’s nose at the American president.

According to the Reuters, heavily armed soldiers had tightened their grip on the Crimean capital, Simferopol on Thursday night, even before Putin’s statement in Moscow. The Russians surrounded government buildings, as can be sen in the video below, shuttered the airport, and blocked city streets.


Jewish Press Staff

Putin to Pardon Russian Tycoon from Jewish Family

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Russian president Vladimir Putin said Thursday he will sign pardon for jailed tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky “in the nearest future,” RIA Novosti reported.

Khodorkovsky’s father was Jewish and his mother was Christian. He was Russia’s richest man before his arrested in 2003 and was slated to be freed next August.

“He has spent over 10 years in confinement – which is a serious term, I believe,” Putin told reporters. Now age 50, Khodorkovsky claimed that his trial was a mockery and an attempt to “destroy the reputation of the judicial system and trust in this state institution, merely for the sake of extending a prison term for opponents of the authorities.”

Khodorkovsky funded opposition parties and publicly challenged Putin’s handling of corruption. He and his business partner then were arrested and convicted for tax evasion. When their prison terms nearly expired in 2012, they were sentenced again on charges of money laundering and stealing oil.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Netanyahu in Moscow: I Guarantee Iran Won’t Have Nuclear Weapons

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Speaking to an audience of Jewish community leaders in Moscow on Thursday, Netanyahu stated that he guarantees that Iran will not have nuclear weapons, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

Israel has been has been threatening, almost explicitly, that any agreement signed with Iran will not restrict Israel from acting unilaterally to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear breakout capability.

Netanyahu’s remarks came in the footsteps of Washington’s overwhelming silence in response to the latest Antisemitic remarks emanating from Iran.

Netanyahu expects that an agreement will be signed in Geneva, if not this week, then the next.

During Netanyahu’s meeting with Russian President Putin, he could not get Putin to back off from supporting the Geneva deal. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Netanyahu that Russia will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin in Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin in Moscow.

A senior Israeli official told Makor Rishon that Barack Obama is interested in Iran not having nuclear weapons while he sits in the White House, but it doesn’t bother him if they are at the edge of the breakout point.

The official reiterated that Israel’s position is that Iran must remove all capabilities for making nuclear weapons, while the US government only wants Iran to not assemble the weapon itself.

In the meantime, Iran is demanding the right to continue to enrich uranium for “civilian purposes”, and wait until the world is distracted with some other problem, to put the bombs together.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has been warning, during an official visit to Canada, that Iran would use ‘dirty bombs’ in its terror war against Western targets.

Israel's Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon visits the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon visits the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

White House officials are saying that Israeli demands that Iran stop all enrichment would lead to war, according to a JTA report. The report says that given the choice of no enrichment, the White House believes Iranians would choose to build a bomb.

Which is exactly what Iran is going to try to do either way.

Opposing the White House is Senator Mark Kirk (R), who said that that Netanyahu’s assessment is correct, and that increasing, not reducing, sanctions at this point is what will force Iran to physically halt their nuclear weapons program.

Shalom Bear

Putin to Visit Cairo, After US Abandons Ally Further

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to visit Egypt in November, the first Russian president to visit Egypt since Egypt lost the war with Israel in 1973, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

The visit will come on the heels of Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Cairo in the beginning of November.

The presidential trip is part of a dramatic series of improvements in Cairo-Russian relations, clearly filling in the vacuum that the U.S. has almost inexplicably left behind.

The visit also comes following meetings between Jerusalem and Russia’s Foreign Ministry this week.

According to Sergey Vershinin, Russia’s director for Middle East affairs in their Foreign Ministry as well as Russia’s representative to the Quartet, Israel expressed deep concern about the the loss of U.S. aid to Egypt, and that if Egypt doesn’t find a new source of funding, the economic situation in the country will worsen and cause “instability”.

Vershinin said that Russia will be investing in improving Russia-Egypt relations, though he cautioned that it won’t return to the levels it was at under the USSR.

“We won’t be returning to the days of Aswan,” Vershinin said, referring to when Egypt began its romance and alliance with Russia, after the U.S. withdrew its offer invest in the Aswan Dam in 1956.

It may not return to those levels, but one certainly can’t deny the feeling of déjà vu.

Shalom Bear

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/putin-to-visit-cairo-after-u-s-abandons-ally-further/2013/10/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: