NCSJ: Statement about situation in Ukraine

TO: NCSJ Leadership and Interested Parties

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


The situation in Ukraine today turned dire as Russian lawmakers unanimously approved a request by Russian President Vladimir Putin to send armed forces to Ukraine.
There are reports that Russian military forces are already in Crimea, and more are on their way to Ukraine.
Acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has placed Ukrainian troops on combat alert; Ukraine's acting prime minister said that Russian intervention would lead to war.
The upper house of Russia's parliament also recommended a recall of Russian Federation Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak from Washington, over President Barack Obama's statement warning of "consequences" for Russia if it intervenes in Ukraine.

The UN Security Council, convening an urgent meeting, expressed support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and called on all parties to respect international agreements that guarantee Ukraine's sovereignty.

Also today, pro-Russian protests broke out in several cities in Eastern Ukraine, including Kharkiv, Donets'k, and Dnipropetrovs'k. In Kharkiv, pro-Russian protesters stormed the city administration. The clashes between pro-Maidan supporters and pro-Russian groups in the city resulted in 80 injuries.

NCSJ spoke today with the Jewish community leaders in Simferopol and Kharkiv. They said that in both cities the situation has stabilized, and that clashes and pro-Russian protests are mainly confined to the city centers.

Jewish community leaders in Southern and Eastern Ukraine said there are no new anti-Semitic incidents in these regions. They added that the desecration of a synagogue in Simferopol and the firebombing of a synagogue in Zaporozhe were most likely provocations. Both incidents are under investigation.

However, they voiced concern about Russia's involvement in Ukraine, which is destabilizing the situation. They are also concerned about a possibility of further provocations by anti-Maidan forces aimed at discrediting the new government.
NCSJ will continue to be in contact with the Ukrainian Jewish community and others to provide you with critical and timely information. 


About NCSJ

NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia, founded in 1971, represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews living in the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union.

Website: http://WWW.NCSJ.ORG



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