Appeal to the president of Russian Federation V.V. Putin on behalf of multi ethnical people of Ukraine, on behalf of ethnic minorities, on behalf of the jewish community.
We - the Jews - citizens of Ukraine: businessmen and managers, religious and communal leaders, scientists, artists and musicians. We are addressing you on behalf of the multi ethnical people of Ukraine, on behalf of ethnic minorities, on behalf of jewish community.
You stated that Russia wants to protect the rights of Russian speaking population of Crimea and all of Ukraine, that have been infringed upon by the current Ukrainian government. For historical reasons, Jews also mainly belong to the Russian speaking population. Therefore our views about the current events have no less importance, than the views and opinions of your advisors and informants.
We are positively sure that it is impossible to mislead you, which means that from the mass of information available to you about Ukraine, you choose to pick lies. And you are well aware, that the words told during press-conference by Victor Yanukovich that after the signing of the infamous agreement “… Kiev was full of armed people, who started to destroy buildings, cultural institutions, places of worship. Innocent people suffered as a result. People were simply robbed and killed on the streets.” - this is a lie from first to last word.
Russian speaking population of Ukraine are not subjected to humiliation and harassment, their civil rights are not limited in any way. Discussions of “violent Ukrainianization” and “ban on Russian language”, that were widely reported in the Russian media, should remain on the conscience of their authors.
Right now, just as Ukraine experienced a severe political crisis, many of us happened to be on different sides of the barricades. Among the Jews of Ukraine, as well as among all ethnic groups, there is no absolute unity in relation to what is happening in the country. But we live in a democratic country and we can afford to have different opinions.
We have been told and still continue to be told that the people struggling to get to power in Ukraine are “Banderovci” and “Fascists”, that a wave of jewish pogroms is coming. Yes, we know that the political opposition and public outcry forces that have made positive changes in the executive authorities of the country consist of different groups. Among them are nationalists, but even the most marginal of them do not allow themselves to demonstrate anti-Semitism or other forms of xenophobia. And we know that the few nationalists of Ukraine are under strict control of the civil society and the new government of Ukraine, which cannot to be said of Russian Neo-Nazis, who enjoy the support of your intelligence agencies.
With the new government we are forming a mutual understanding, establishing a working relationship. In the cabinet of ministers ??? there are many representatives of ethnic minorities: Minister of the Interior - Armenian, Deputy Prime Minister - a Jew, two ministers - Russian . Newly appointed governors of the provinces of Ukraine also do not belong exclusively to the titular nation.
Unfortunately, we must admit that lately the stability of our country is at risk. And the threat comes from the Russian authorities, meaning – from you. It is your policy of incitement of separatism and brutal pressure on Ukraine that poses a threat to us – Jews, as well as to all of people of Ukraine, including the population of Crimea and of the South Eastern Ukraine - of this fact they will be convinced very soon.
Vladimir Vladimirovich, we appreciate your concern for the safety and protection of the rights of national minorities in Ukraine. But we do not want to be “protected” by way of splitting of Ukraine and annexation of its territories. We strongly urge you not to interfere with the internal affairs of Ukraine, to withdraw Russian troops to their permanent positions and to stop encouraging pro-russian separatism.
Vladimir Vladimirovich, we are able to defend our rights in a constructive dialogue and cooperation with the government and civil society of sovereign, democratic and united Ukraine. We strongly urge you not to destabilize the situation in our country and to stop trying to discredit the new Ukrainian authorities.
Josef Zisels Chairman of the Association of Jewish Communities and
Organizations of Ukraine (VAAD) Ukraine, Executive Vice President of the
Congress of National Communities of Ukraine
Alexander Suslensky D.Sc., Vice President of the Jewish Confederation of
Andrei Adamovsky First Vice President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine,
member of the "Hillel" Jewish Student organization Observation
Council (citizen of Russia)
Evgen Chervonenko Vice President of the European Jewish Congress, businessman
Rabbi Alex Dukhovny Head Rabbi of the Ukrainian Progressive Judaism communities
Rabbi Reuven Stamov Head Rabbi of the Ukrainian Traditional Judaism communities
Alexander Paskhaver Member of the VAAD Ukraine Coordation Council, economist
Leonid Finberg Director of the NaUKMA Center for the Studies of History and
Culture of Eastern European Jewry, VAAD Ukraine Vice Chairman
Anatoliy Podolsky Director of the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, Vice
Chairman of VAAD Ukraine
Igor Kuperberg Chairman of the Zionist Federation of Ukraine, Vice Chairman of
Semen Belman Vice President of the Jewish Council of Ukraine, President of the
Chernigiv Jewish Community
Alexander Gaidar Leader of the Union of Ukrainian Progressive Judaism Religious
Vyacheslav Likhachev CNCU Chief expert in monitoring and analysing xenophobia
and anti-Semitism, member of the VAAD Ukraine Coordination Council(citizen of
Russia and Israel)
Michael Gold Editor-in-chief of the VAAD Ukraine newspaper "Hadashot"
Galina Haraz Engineer (citizen of Ukraine and Israel)
Igor Turov PhD in history, Director of the Jewish Studies Certificate Program
of VAAD Ukraine, VAAD Ukraine Presidium member
Diana Gold VAAD Ukraine Presidium member
Alexander Roitburg Artist
Evgen Greben Director of the "Maccabi" Jewish Cultural and Sports
Grigoriy Pickman "B'nei B'rith Leopolis" President
Igor Kerez VAAD Ukraine Trustee Board member, businessman
(Signatures still being collected)
Text and captions in Russian