Skip To Content
Breaking News

Russian Jewish Groups Call For Lifting of Sanctions Against Moscow

Representatives of major Jewish groups in Russia urged Western coreligionists to lobby for peeling back sanctions against Moscow.

The call was made in a document that carried signatures of Crimean Jews and executives from the Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, as well as the Congress of the Jewish Religious Organizations and Associations in Russia, which is not affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, the news site reported Saturday. In the letter, seen by Lenta, the co-signatories ask Western Jews “to prepare public opinion in their countries [for] starting a dialogue with their governments to lift sanctions against Russia and Crimea.” It is signed by Rabbi Ariel Triger, who is in charge of regional development at the Chabad-affiliated federation, and by the congress’ vice president, Zinovy ​​Kogan.

Sanctions by the European Union and the United States against Russia have crippled the Russian economy and came as a response to Russia’s annexation in March 2014 of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

The letter was addressed to the signatories’ Western counterparts, Lenta reported, but did not specify.

Russian Jewish leaders credit Russian President Vladimir Putin with facilitating efforts to re-consolidate Russia’s Jewish community after decades of Communist repression but critics, including many Jews, oppose his perceived nationalism and crackdown on civil liberties.

The letter’s authors also wrote that Crimean Jews and non-Jews support their territory’s annexation to Russia, which Putin said was done to protect the ethnic-Russian population there from Ukrainian nationalists. The sanctions, they wrote, were “unjust.”

The revolution ended the rule of Viktor Yanukovych, whom many Ukrainians opposed for his alleged corruption and perceived allegiance to Russia. He fled to Russia shortly before the annexation.

Ukrainian Jews have rejected accusations that the revolution endangered their minority, and almost all of the leaders of their communities condemned the Russian annexation and support for separatists in Ukraine’s east.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.