Lev Tahor leader Shlomo Helbrans' refugee case questioned

The fifth estate investigates refugee claim of Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans

By Julia Sisler, CBC News, Feb 27, 2014

Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans is the head of Lev Tahor, a sect that moved from Quebec to Chatham, Ont., last November amid allegations of child neglect. (CBC)

Controversial rabbi

The leader of a controversial ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect may have used misleading or false evidence to gain refugee status in Canada, according to an investigation by CBC’s the fifth estate.

Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans is the head of Lev Tahor, a sect that moved from Quebec to Chatham, Ont., last November, amid allegations of child neglect.

Recently released search warrants show that for nearly two years Quebec provincial police have been investigating allegations of physical abuse of children within the group, unlawful confinement and marriages between girls under 16 and much older men.

The sect is appealing an Ontario court decision upholding a Quebec youth court ruling that ordered the temporary removal of more than a dozen children from the sect.

Helbrans came to Canada after he was convicted of kidnapping in the United States and deported to Israel. He applied for refugee status in Canada in 2003, claiming that he would be persecuted for his strong anti-Zionist views if he were sent back to Israel.

One of Israel’s leading scholars on ultra-Orthodox groups, Professor Menachem Friedman, read Helbrans’ refugee file and dismissed his argument.

“When I read it, I laugh. If it was not so tragic, it is a comedy,” he told the fifth estate’s Gillian Findlay. “I don’t believe it at all.”

Some ultra-Orthodox rabbis are opposed to the existence of the Israeli state, because they believe a state for the Jewish people can only be legitimately proclaimed by God and cannot happen until the day the Messiah arrives. But Friedman says other anti-Zionist Rabbis in Israel have taken their opposition much further than Helbrans, with some joining rabidly anti-Israel leaders in Iran, without facing persecution.

Now the fifth estate’s investigation is raising questions about some of the key evidence in Helbrans’ refugee claim.

Uriel Goldman, a spokesman for the Lev Tahor members, says that as a young intelligence soldier in Israel’s defence force, the IDF, he was ordered to spy on Helbrans. Instead, Goldman decided to join Lev Tahor.

​Helbrans’ claim included testimony from a man who is now the spokesperson for Lev Tahor. Uriel Goldman testified that as a young intelligence soldier in Israel’s defence force, the IDF, he was ordered to spy on Helbrans. Instead, Goldman decided to join Lev Tahor.

When the fifth estate asked the IDF about Goldman, it was told they have no record of Goldman serving in the military intelligence.

When questioned, Goldman told Findlay he did not want to talk about his testimony at the refugee hearing.

“I know that Israel is watching very carefully,” he said. “I think you can understand. I don't want to receive one day a bullet from a Mossad agent if it gets ugly.” [= Kikestanis might kill these Kikes if they keep revealing too much about kikery to the "goyim"]

He also suggested it’s not surprising that the IDF would not release sensitive military information.

“I understand why they say that,” he said. “And this was, like, not a normal operation.”

Criminal record

Helbrans also had a criminal record in the United States, something that would normally be an obstacle to gaining refugee status in Canada.

In 1994, Helbrans was convicted of kidnapping a young boy named Shai Fhima in Brooklyn, NY. He was sentenced to a minimum of four years in prison, which was reduced to two years on appeal. Once released, Helbrans was deported to Israel.

Six weeks later he came to Canada
and began to re-establish Lev Tahor in Quebec. Eventually, he applied for refugee status.

At his refugee hearing in 2003 he submitted a video of his kidnapping victim, Fhima, saying Helbrans’ conviction was a misunderstanding and that he wanted to clear the rabbi’s name.

Fhima has recently told the fifth estate what he said in that video was a lie. He says that Lev Tahor paid him $5,000 to make the recording, in a deal arranged by the community’s spokesman, Goldman. He also said that Helbrans really did kidnap him.

Helbrans told Findlay that is “absolutely false and a lie.”

Goldman said Lev Tahor did pay for Fhima’s airplane ticket from Israel to Canada, but not for the recording.

In his decision, the former refugee board commissioner who heard Helbrans’ claim, Gilles Ethier, found all the testimony to be “sincere and relevant.” Helbrans was accepted as a refugee.

Since the federal government did not send a lawyer to the trial, there was no one to challenge Helbrans’ witnesses or evidence. It is not the role of the commissioner to bring counter-evidence against refugee claims.

“The thing is that I had proof and evidence that was put in front of me, and I had to decide with that,” Ethier said.

The federal government did appeal his decision, but it was upheld by the federal court.


In January, police executed search warrants in several Lev Tahor homes in Chatham, in a raid captured by the fifth estate. The search warrants, obtained by CBC and other media outlets that fought to have the documents made public, reveal that police are investigating allegations including child abuse and unlawful confinement.

In January, police executed search warrants in several Lev Tahor homes in Chatham, Ont., in a raid captured by the fifth estate.

It was also alleged that some underage girls in the sect were married to much older men.

“I never marry children against the law [= he only does it in accordance with kikelaw],” Helbrans told Findlay.

He said that there had been three cases of 15-year-olds from his community getting married. They travelled to Missouri, where children can be married at 15 with the consent of their parent or guardian, to be married by a judge before returning to the community in Quebec. In Quebec, it’s not a crime for children under 16 years old to refer to themselves as being married; however, their union will not be recognized as valid.

Helbrans claims the allegations against his community are due to anti-Semitism.

“The Jewish nation is a target from allegations [for] more than 3,000 years,” Helbrans said. “We are persecuted because of our spiritual background, because we are Jews, anti-Zionists, because we are extreme.”

But his claim that his sect is the target of anti-Semitism is not getting much sympathy in Israel.

“I think all the ways that this sect operates is contradictory to Judaism in every aspect of it,” said Yariv Levin, a government representative in Israel. He is on a parliamentary committee on the rights of the child that has been gathering evidence on Lev Tahor.

Israeli families who have children in Lev Tahor are pressuring their government to take action.

Levin is now calling on Canada to shut Helbrans and his sect down.

“He doesn’t have any excuse and reason to be recognized as a refugee, but all of that we can deal with later on,” he said. “But now we have to deal with the children.”


Proposed amendment to Canadian Constitution, which would need approval from the only 44.4% Kike Supreme Court:





GLOBE DEBATE: History, not politics, drives Canada’s support of Ukraine


Special to The Globe and Mail, Feb. 27 2014, 2:31 PM EST

Barbara McDougall was [Canadian] Secretary of State for External Affairs from 1991 to 1993.


Europe would welcome Ukraine into membership, or into the conditionality leading to membership, but there are no precedents for it to get into a tug of war in order to do so. It now finds itself trying to play peacemaker, but while it has the trust of the Ukrainian “rebels” it has yet to be seen what influence it will have over the Russians.

Ukraine must fight to maintain its independence, but it has no money to do so, and its well-wishers are unlikely to write large cheques. In 1991, Canada could provide only minimal financial support (remember those deficits?) but was actively engaged helping to shape the constitution of the newly independent state, and to set up national institutions. The Canadian Bar Association worked on the structure of the court system; Canadian business worked with Ukrainian business on securities regulation and corporate structure.

Today it is hard to see what role Canada is playing, or can play, besides being visibly supportive. The needs now in Ukraine are different. The institutions are there, but the Ukrainian leadership, as in so many emerging democracies, has let the people down. The public is cynical about politics and its own leadership. It is divided about whether to turn toward Europe or tuck itself in again under the comfort of Mother Russia, depending upon regional and ethnic loyalties. The country is on the verge of running out of money, and it is yet to be seen whether the interim government in the process of being appointed will be able to stabilize the financial situation or even command the loyalty of the public.

For Ukraine to return to stability and independence, Western nations including Canada will have to work quickly to ensure appropriate action by the IMF, at whatever cost, and will have to work seamlessly together on a confidence-building strategy to ensure the shaky interim government can hold on until presidential elections in the spring. Transparency will be key; Ukrainians rightly have run out of tolerance for the obscene corruption that has come to dominate public life. Most important, and most difficult, will the West stand firm in staring down Mr. Putin? The coming weeks will not be easy. Nor is the outcome predictable.


anoutsideview: To resolve this mess is going to take lots of good will, which is in short supply in the area, particularly after the events this month. I suggest that Mr. Baird reads 'Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin' by [Kike] Timothy Snyder, which gives some background to the unbelievable, horrific violence that stalked the Ukraine in the 20th century. That might help him avoid repeating some of the mistakes of history.

Rick Taves: That book, as well as Postwar by [Kike] Tony Judt, should be essential reading for Baird and Harper. But Harper is too busy writing something about hockey to have time for fluff such as this.

HillVan: Many of the so called opposition, are very right wing, neo-nazi thugs. Mr Baird be careful to whom you talk!

Kotter49: Mr. Baird IS a right wing neo-nazi thug. He will be right at home.

SteveieGee: Canada is there to show support.. Support + votes from the Ukrainian community just for going to keep Consevative's in power..or try to. Great oppurtunity for a photo op. Only Stephen Harper and his supporter's would enter a region with a Russian military pressence and photo op shutter bug time. How truely sad. How truely desperate.


The problem with Operation Banner (1969-2007) is that it should never have been initiated.

Banner funding should have gone to the R.U.C. (1922-2001) and the U.D.R. (1970-1992), who would have been much, much more effective.

Only local (N.I.-based and Ulster-heritage) British Army and T.A.V.R. units [*] should have been deployed in Northern Ireland, as needed, in support of N.I. police and military. Over time, local police and military units should have been reinforced by transfers from the B.A. and T.A.V.R., and should have been tasked with the missions that ended up as part of Operation Banner, Operation Grenada and related operations.

One of the objectives of Operation Banner was to prevent Northern Ireland from becoming a sovereign state.

[* Local BA & T.A.V.R.: Under H.Q.N.I. at Newtownards, such as 107 (Ulster) Brigade, R.I.R. (1968-1992), 40 (Ulster) Signal Regiment, 121 Intelligence Section, Weapons Intelligence Section, 38 Sect of 1(Inv)Coy SIB Regt RMP, D (North Irish Horse) Squadron (The Royal Yeomanry Regiment), 206 (Ulster) Battery Royal Artillery (Volunteers), B Squadron (Londonderry), 69 (North Irish Horse) Squadron, 152 (Ulster) Transport Regiment, etc.]



Ukraine's newly-appointed Acting President, Prime Minister and House Speaker Turchynov, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, and a writer, and Baptist "pastor":

Ukraine newlyappointed Acting President Prime Minister House Speaker Turchynov Baptist Pastor

Oleksandr Turchynov,first deputy chairman of the political party Batkivshchyna (All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland") is the "liberated" nation's Acting President, Prime Minister and Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament).


Turchynov has been before acting Prime Minister (then ex officio), when he was the First Vice Prime Minister in the absence of a prime minister after Yulia Tymoshenko's government was dismissed on 3 March 2010; until the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) appointed Mykola Azarov as Prime Minister on 11 March 2010.

From 1987 to 1990, he served as head of the agitation and propaganda division of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Komsomol (Communist Youth League) Committee, which was led by Serhiy Tihipko. Tihipko and Turchynov became political patrons of Leonid Kuchma, then head of Dnipropetrovsk-based Pivdenmash missile manufacturer. Kuchma and his entire team, including Tihipko and Turchynov moved to Kiev in 1992, after Kuchma was appointed Prime Minister. In 1993 Turchynov was formally appointed an advisor on economic issues to Prime Minister Kuchma.

Turchynov is an old ally of Yulia Tymoshenko, another prominent Ukrainian political figure from Dnipropetrovsk. They used to have a common business in Dnipropetrovsk. In December 1993, Turchynov co-founded and became Vice President of Ukrainian Union of Industrialist and Entrepreneurs. In 1994 he created the political party Hromada together with Pavlo Lazarenko, a business ally of Tymoshenko. Turchynov was also director of the Economic Reforms Institute from January 1994 to March 1998 and was head of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences' Laboratory of Shadow Economy Research.

In 1998, he was elected to parliament as a member of Hromada but after the scandal around Lazarenko, he left the faction and party (during May 1999) together with Yulia Tymoshenko's All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland". He was re-elected to parliament in 2002 and 2006 as part of the BYuT.

On 4 February 2005, Turchynov was appointed and served as the first‐ever civilian head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). In February 2006 state prosecutors opened a criminal case against Turchynov and his SBU deputy Andriy Kozhemyakin for destroying a file about FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive [Kike] Semyon Mogilevich from the SBU archive. The case was dismissed four months later.

In the spring of 2008 he was the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc candidate for the Mayor of Kiev election he placed second at the election with 218,600 votes (19.13% of total vote).

In 2004 Turchynov published a book "Illusion of fear". In 2005 he also wrote a script to the same name movie that is based on the book. The movie was released in Ukraine in September 2008 and was the 2008 Ukrainian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

His wife is Hanna Turchynova (born 1970), PhD, Head of Foreign Languages at National Pedagogical Dragomanov University. They have one son, Kyrylo (born 1994), a student.

Turchynov does not drink or smoke. Like 1% of Ukraine's population, he is a Protestant. He is a pastor, and is said to sometimes give sermons at his Kiev church, the Word of Life Center, which is a member of the Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine.

Illusion of Fear (2008)
  • Director: Aleksandr Kirienko
  • Screenplay: Yuri Butusov (based on book by Alexander Turchinov)
  • Producers: Yuri Butusov, Dmitriy Kolesnikov, Tatyana Smirnova, Alexander Turchinov
  • Cinematographer: Sergei Mikhalchuk
  • Cast: Andrey Panin, Elena Babenko, Aleksey Gorbunov, Sergey Garmash, Inga Strelkova-Oboldina, Aleksandr Semchev, Aleksey Petrenko

Ukrainian Cinema Foundation:

"Illusion of Fear (2008): Story of a successful businessman, who has to protect his business in difficult conditions. He gets entrapped into the net of law enforcement structures and after arrest the protagonist starts to notice weird things: some of his interlocutors appear to be not real persons, but phantoms, created by his consciousness. Fantomness, dematerialization of things that are obvious for common sense brings the author to the next stage of thinking - that the illusion of fear is also fruit of our imagination."

“Illusion of Fear” from Turchynov

Kyiv Post, May 22, 2008

About Kyiv — by Alexandra Matoshko, Kyiv Post Guide Editor

Trailers for movie based on Oleksandr Turchynov’s novel “Illusion of Fear” shown on Ukrainian TV candidates, Oleksandr Turchynov, came up with the most original way to garner the attention of the electorate. The trailer for the movie “Illusion of Fear” based on his novel of the same name is currently circulating on Ukrainian channels, arousing curiosity in film goers. Though it’s still unclear when the movie premieres, it well may be that the fans of Turchynov’s literary talent in anticipation of the film version will rush to give their votes to him just for that.

The making of the film was officially announced in December, and it’s easy to find screenshots of the movie at many Web sites, displaying some dramatic images. Just like the book, the film can be defined as a psychological thriller, and was written in 2005, when Turchynov was the head of the Security Service of Ukraine

The main hero of the story is entrepreneur Ihor Korob, who is arrested and forced to refuse a successful business project, but later escapes and intends to take revenge. However Korob at times loses contact with reality – he’s living a parallel life as King Solomon, his visions being inspired by the paintings of Bosch.

The lead roles in the film are played by well-known actors Andriy Panin and Olena Babenko, with Serhiy Harmash, Oleksiy Petrenko and Oleskiy Horbunov in supporting roles. Which such a list of stars plus a serious budget, the film, directed by Oleksandr Kiriyenko (“Orange Sky” and “Indie”), looks like yet another attempt to make a Ukrainian film, that will actually become popular among Ukrainians.

Though the film is considered entirely apolitical, it nonetheless reveals a lot about corruption and greed of some authorities, and coupled with numerous quotes from the Bible, it certainly makes the author into the noble fighter against all those vices. Therefore its message is quite clear.

The Hollywood Reporter:

Ukraine submits 'Illusion' for Oscar race

By Vladimir Kozlov, AP, 10/16/2008

Based on a book by countrys deputy prime minister

"Illusion of Fear" by Alexander Kiriyenko is Ukraine's entry in the foreign-language Oscar race.

"Illusion" -- based on a book by Alexander Turchinov, the country's deputy prime minister and formerly head of the Security Service of Ukraine -- tells the story of an entrepreneur who tries to save his business during a difficult period in the 1990s.

The film was released in Ukraine last month.


The jew who wrote this book has now been installed as omni-leader of Ukraine.

Turchynov destroyed the [Kike] Mogilevich files

Peter Byrne, Kiev Post, 2012.10.03

Former security service chief Oleksandr Turchynov said he didn’t order the destruction of a case file on reputed mobster Semyon Mogilevich. Two former heads of the Security Service of Ukraine offered vastly different accounts this week of the alleged role of Semyon Mogilevich in the lucrative gas trade between Ukraine, Russia and other former Soviet states, as well as the contents and fate of secret agency files about the alleged mobster.

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, who headed the spy agency from 2006 to 2010, told the Kyiv Post in an interview that documents connecting Mogilevich with the nation’s gas trade had been destroyed by one of his predecessors, Oleksandr Turchynov, in 2005.

Turchynov, who was security service (SBU) chief in 2005, called such claims an “elaborate ruse” to discredit his close ally, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who made a fortune in the gas trade in the 1990s.

The controversy over the so-called Mogilevich SBU dossier dates back to the split in a coalition between Tymoshenko and former President Viktor Yushchenko in 2005, largely provoked by arguments over whether to retain gas trader RosUkrEnergo as an intermediary in the lucrative business of importing Russian and Central Asian gas to Ukraine.

Ukrainian politicians have accused each other of connections with alleged mafia boss Mogilevich, who for years has been on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted List of fugitives for alleged fraud.

Mogilevich’s lawyers have consistently denied that he is involved in organized crime or the region’s gas trade. But longstanding claims about Mogilevich’s alleged role in Ukraine returned to the stoplight, thanks to U.S. State Department cables published in recent weeks by the whistleblower WikiLeaks.

U.S. Embassy cables revealed details about the controversy surrounding a secret dossier on Mogilevich compiled by the SBU.

The dossier was allegedly destroyed by Turchynov and his deputy Andriy Kozhemyakin, both staunch Tymoshenko allies, about the time she was fired as prime minister during her first stint on Sept. 8, 2005.

In a U.S. diplomatic cable published on the WikiLeaks website on Dec. 5, former U.S.

Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst reported that former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko said he had been “ordered” in 2006 by state prosecutors to arrest Turchynov for allegedly destroying hard copies of the Mogilevich dossier.

Lutsenko on Nov. 29 confirmed the authenticity of his conversation with Herbst, described in the cable dated April 14, 2006.

"State prosecutors on Feb. 22, 2006, opened a criminal case against Turchynov and Kozhemyakin for allegedly destroying the Mogilevich files, but Kyiv’s Pechersk District court threw out the case four months later. I think the reason why the Mogilevich dossier was destroyed in 2005 is because the files contained information about intermediaries and their role in the gas trade.” - Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, former SBU chief.

Prosecutors appealed, before later withdrawing their charges.

Nalyvaichenko, the SBU chief from 2006 to 2010, told the Kyiv Post on Dec. 7 that SBU records about Mogilevich dating back to the early 1990s indeed went missing.

He said the documents detailed the alleged mobster’s role in the gas trade in the mid-1990s, including ties with top officials close to Tymoshenko, who then headed a lucrative gas trading business called United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU).

“I think the reason why the Mogilevich dossier was destroyed in 2005 is because the files contained information about intermediaries and their role in the gas trade,” Nalyvaichenko said.

Nalyvaichenko identified one alleged link between Mogilevich and top officials then as Igor Fisherman, who is also wanted by the FBI as an associate of Mogilevich.

Fisherman, who along with Mogilevich is believed to reside in Russia, worked as an advisor to former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko in the 1990s when Tymoshenko headed UESU.

Tymoshenko and Lazarenko were political allies during the 1998 parliamentary election, when their Hromada Party won 24 seats in parliament.

Tymoshenko’s opponents have frequently accused her of making illicit proceeds during the mid-1990s in tandem with Lazarenko, when UESU controlled a large share of domestic supplies.

Tymoshenko has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and has distanced herself from Lazarenko, a convicted U.S. felon who is still serving an eight-year prison sentence in the U.S. for laundering money.

Speaking to the Kyiv Post by telephone on Dec. 8, Turchynov said there was no specific dossier on Mogilevich that could have been destroyed. But he and Kozhemyakin were evasive in answering specific Kyiv Post questions.

Turchynov did say, however, that it was routine procedure to destroy hard copies of old criminal investigation files. In any case, it would have been impossible to erase backup records from the agency’s computer system, he added.

“At the time, the General Prosecutor’s Office [loyal to Tymoshenko’s opponents], not the SBU, was in charge of investigating of alleged ties between UESU and organized crime groups during the 1990s,” he added, referring to accusations that point to an alleged link between Tymoshenko and Mogilevich associates.

Both Turchynov and Kozhemyakin refused to answer in detail what role Fisherman could have played as an advisor to Lazarenko on energy issues.

Both denied knowing Fisherman, but could not explain clearly if an investigation is warranted to look into what role this alleged Mogilevich associate had as an advisor to Lazarenko at a time when Tymoshenko profited greatly as a business women in the country's murky gas trading business.

“I don’t know what Fisherman was doing there. This is a question for Lazarenko,” Kozhemyakin said, adding that he never investigated the issue.

Kozhemyakin said that if political opponents have any qualms, they should show the evidence and prosecutors should pursue the case.

"The controversy over the so-called Mogilevich files was an elaborate ruse engineered by Yushchenko and his inner circle to deflect attention from their plans to [preserve] RosUkrEnergo as an intermediary [in 2005]." - Oleksandr Turchynov, one of the opposition leaders, Yulia Tymoshenko supporter.

Fisherman and Lazarenko were not immediately available for comment. Turchynov’s successor at the SBU, Ihor Drizhchany, declined to comment when contacted by telephone on Dec. 6.

Turchynov said accusations about him destroying the dossier were an attempt to divert attention from the accusers’ own links with RosUkrEnergo.

“The controversy over the so-called Mogilevich files was an elaborate ruse engineered by Yushchenko and his inner circle to deflect attention from their plans to [preserve] RosUkrEnergo as an intermediary [in 2005],” Turchynov said.

RosUkrEnergo ties?

The majority of WikiLeaks documents released thus far appear to focus more on a suspected Mogilevich connection to RosUkrEnergo, not Tymoshenko.

One WikiLeaks cable, released on Nov. 29 by Russian Reporter magazine, linked Mogilevich to RosUkrEnergo, co-owned by Ukrainian gas tycoon Dmytro Firtash and Russian state energy firm Gazprom.

Another cable authored by former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, dated Dec. 10, 2008, reports links between Firtash – who has ties to President Viktor Yanukovych’s inner circle – and Mogilevich. The brief quotes Firtash as saying that he “needed and received permission from Mogilevich when he established various businesses.”

Firtash in a press release on Dec. 2 denied he has ever stated that he needed or received permission from Mogilevich to establish any of his businesses.

But Firtash has not responded to requests by the Kyiv Post’s for more detailed comment on his reported ties to Mogilevich and alleged corruption in Ukraine’s energy sector.

RosUkrEnergo and its shareholders have repeatedly denied links to Mogilevich, but top Ukrainian officials in government, including Tymoshenko as prime minister, and lawmakers speaking in parliament, have over the years suggested that he and close associates were involved.

Nalyvaichenko, former SBU chief, talks about corruption, shady gas trade, Gongadze murder

Kyiv Post, Dec. 10, 2010

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the former head of the Security Service of Ukraine, is now the leader of Our Ukraine, the political party of his close ally, former President Viktor Yushchenko. The Kyiv Post sat down with the 44-year old politician on Dec. 7 to get his reaction to leaked U.S. State Department cables and allegations of links among organized crime, gas traders and top government officials.

In confidential or secret U.S. Embassy cables released by WikiLeaks this month, U.S. officials repeatedly discussed the alleged ties between Moscow-based Semyon Mogilevich, who is wanted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Ukrainian billionaire Dmytro Firtash, a co-owner of RosUkrEnergo gas trader.

Firtash is close to the inner circle of President Viktor Yanukovych. According to a report by former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, during a Dec. 8, 2008 conversation he had with Firtash, the gas tycoon also claimed to be close to Yushchenko as well.

Firtash has been a big player in the supply of gas to Ukraine and Europe via Swiss-registered RosUkrEnergo, which he co-owns with Russia’s Gazprom. Taylor wrote that Firtash acknowledged needing Mogilevich’s permission to open businesses.

In response to the leak, Firtash denied ties with Mogilevich in a strongly worded statement on Dec. 2.

The WikiLeaks-released documents also show heightened concern about organized crime in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine. A Spanish prosecutor was, for example, quoted in the WikiLeaks documents as describing Ukraine as in danger of becoming one of the “mafia states” arising on Europe’s eastern border.

But the former head of the Security Service of Ukraine, known as the SBU, repeatedly disputed the assertion that Ukraine had degenerated into a “mafia state.” Nalyvaichenko also stressed that during his years at the helm of Ukraine’s security agency, he found no ties linking Mogilevich with Firtash, or RosUkrEnergo.

Kyiv Post: How much have the WikiLeaks leaks shaken up Ukraine?

Nalyvaichenko: As someone who worked as a diplomat for more than a decade, three years in the security service, then as the head of a non-government organization and now leading a political party, my response to this question may not be typical.

Put simply, in this day and age, it is almost impossible for politicians, bureaucrats to keep secrets. Moreover, most of the information I was privy to as head of the SBU [from May 2006 – January 2010] is today accessible globally to anyone. The Internet has changed everything. People these days have access to any document posted to the Internet and the ability to hold its authors to account. And this is a good thing.

I recall [former presidential guard Mykola] Melnychenko and his recordings. Former President Leonid Kuchma (1994-2005) threatened to dismiss me for failing to arrest him when he showed up [in 2003] at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington. Kuchma and [then former Presidential Administration chief Viktor] Medvedchuk wanted him arrested. Then, as consul, I welcomed him, as I would any other citizen of Ukraine.

That experience, the recordings scandal and today’s WikiLeaks revelations, have only deepened my conviction that individuals who make information available publicly are not the criminals. The criminals are those, including politicians who conspire to commit illegal acts, behind closed doors and lie to the public.

Ukrainians today should sleep soundly. They have access to the same information the head of the State Security Service was privy to during my tenure. The activities of former governments have been exposed forever, along with the people who headed them.

KP: Are you worried that conversations you may have had with U.S. officials could be the subject of subsequent leaks?

VN: Quite the opposite. I have already spoken out publicly about the issue because some have misconstrued deliberately information contained in the cables already posted to the Internet. Even if my conversations with U.S. officials are published in their entirety, they won’t differ from what we are talking about now.

The SBU worked with its American partners. The last two U.S. ambassadors to Ukraine were fully aware of the extent of our cooperation. I am not worried.

KP: In the WikiLeaks documents, Ukraine and other countries on Europe’s eastern borders have been described by a Spanish foreign diplomat who was talking with U.S. officials as “mafia states.” Do you see it this way?

VN: I do not think Ukraine is a mafia state. Endemic corruption among state officials and bureaucrats today is the biggest threat to Ukraine, just as when I headed the SBU.

The Soviet-style type of graft afflicts the entire bureaucracy and prevents implementing the changes required for Ukraine to integrate with Europe. I think it’s going too far to call Ukraine a mafia state because criminals are not in charge of running the county.

KP: But we see in the WikiLeaks cables that U.S. officials were very curious about the relationship between organized crime groups and Ukrainian officials in the super lucrative natural gas business, where geopolitical interests among Kyiv, Moscow and Europe are also at play. In your talks with U.S. officials, did you experience a strong interest in this specific issue?

VN: This was one of our priorities my priorities as acting head of the SBU for three years. [Former President Viktor] Yushchenko instructed me from the start to ensure [reputed organized crime boss Semen] Mogilevich was in no way involved in Ukraine’s natural gas business.

U.S. officials, as well as other governments, were very interested in Mogilevich and his possible involvement in the gas business. This was an issue that we, first and foremost, were interested in.

KP: Did you find any evidence that Mogilevich was involved?

VN: Records containing operational and technical information about Mogilevich were destroyed unfortunately before I came to the SBU. Yushchenko instructed me to reconstruct the dossier when I took charge of the SBU in December 2006.

And we did so, presuming upon ourselves and with the help of foreign intelligence agencies, especially the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. We established that no one in Yushchenko’s inner circle had any connection with Mogilevich.

KP: But according to WikiLeaks, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor wrote [on Dec. 8, 2008] in his cable to Washington that upon meeting with billionaire Dmytro Firtash, head of RosUkrEnergo, Firtash admitted to seeking permission from Mogilevich to do business. Moreover, Firtash described himself as a “close friend” of Yushchenko. Firtash is also reported to have said that he was working to form a political alliance between the president’s [Our Ukraine] party and [Viktor] Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.

VN: I am talking about what I did from 2007 to 2010. During this period, none of the individuals you mentioned was in contact with Mogilevich, including Firtash. And Yushchenko knew this. I can’t speak about what transpired before 2007. I think the order to destroy the Mogilevich dossier was a mistake, if not a criminal offense. But this is not the end of the story.

The SBU’s foreign partners, including U.S law enforcement, went as far as to ask that individuals involved in Ukraine’s gas trade, intermediaries, including representatives of [ex-prime minister] Yulia Tymoshenko’s [gas trading company from the 1990s] United Energy Systems of Ukraine. There was summoning and questioning.

I think the reason why the Mogilevich dossier was destroyed in 2005 [when Tymoshenko’s right hand man Oleksandr Turchynov was head of the SBU] is because the files contained information about intermediaries, namely United Energy Systems of Ukraine and Ukrainian government officials and their role in the gas trade.

KP: Such as Ihor Fisherman, who the FBI considers to be Mogilevich’s close associate and who worked as an adviser to Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko in the late 1990s when Tymoshenko was a political ally of Lazarenko and head of a very lucrative gas trading business called United Energy Systems of Ukraine?

VN: Exactly. [Petro] Kirichenko, Lazarenko, etcetera.

KP: So, then is there evidence to show that Mogilevich has been deeply involved in natural gas sales to Ukraine and other countries in the region?

VN: I can only say that Mogilevich was not involved when I headed the SBU from 2007-2010. No one with ties to Mogilevich was involved in Ukraine’s gas sector during this time.

KP: But according to US Embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor says that, in late 2008, when he met with Firtash, that Firtash admitted that he met Mogilevich in Kyiv in prior years, and feared that he would not walk out of the meeting alive.

VN: That’s a question you should ask him. I was not in charge of the SBU at the time and don’t have reliable information.

KP: You must have had information as head of the SBU that such a meeting took place, no?

VN: Not necessarily. We carried out Yushchenko’s order to report any involvement by Mogilevich in the gas sector. The president also directed us to find out who, namely, was behind RosUkrEnergo and we complied.

We received and reported information at the end of 2008 that a new gas intermediary company was being incorporated in Zug, Switzerland, to replace RosUkrEnergo. Top government officials at the end of 2008 with ties to ex-President Leonid Kuchma administration were involved.

KP: Who?

VN: Let’s see. Maybe the information will come out on WikiLeaks.

KP: But isn’t this one of the biggest problems with the country, that politicians are repeatedly making empty accusations without revealing the full details. And no one gets prosecuted in court. So, at the end of the day, accusations are flying in all directions, but no one reveals all their cards. Maybe they are all involved, all have something to hide?

VN: Perhaps. But if the Mogilevich dossier had not been destroyed, and if the SBU had continued its cooperation with the FBI and intelligence agencies, the investigation would have resulted in subpoenas and a court trial.

Believe me. The case would have been under the purview of the General Prosecutor’s Office, headed by Sviatoslav Pyskun. I was present at meetings when he said people should be called in for questioning because the Mogilevich dossier was destroyed.

KP: Why do you think your predecessor, Oleksandr Turchynov, Yulia Tymoshenko’s right-hand man, destroyed those documents?

VN: Isn't it obvious? I was a diplomat at the time. What we found most disturbing was that documents relating to United Energy Systems of Ukraine and government officials were destroyed before I took the helm at the SBU in 2007. The documents showed how funds for gas purchases were sucked out of the budget and transferred abroad. We call it money laundering.

KP: Why do you think Tymoshenko wanted these documents destroyed?

VN: This is a question you should ask her.

KP: Was the destruction of the Mogilevich dossier a crime?

VN: Oleksandr Turchynov and [his deputy] Andriy Kozhemyakin did not personally destroy the documents. They gave the order for them to be destroyed.

Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko at the time opened a criminal investigation, but nothing ever came of it. The files destroyed contained operational information [relating to Mogilevich’s and United Energy Systems, as well as top government officials’ role in the gas trade].

KP: Were the files compiled during former Leonid Derkach’s time as SBU chief [1998-2001]?

VN: No. I think most information came from when Ihor Smeshko headed the agency [2003-2005].

KP: Could it be that former SBU chiefs were gathering information on the gas sector when Kuchma was president to show that Tymoshenko was engaged in criminal activities?

VN: You would have to ask them. When I headed the agency, the focus was on money laundering and Mogilevich. These were the priorities in our oversight of the gas sector. We also were instructed to make sure that officials from government were not connected with shady gas trade.

KP: Were U.S. authorities inquiring more about Tymoshenko’s involvement in the gas trade, or about Firtash’s role?

VN: They were most interested in money laundering allegations and Mogilevich. We were prepared to arrest him if he set foot on Ukrainian territory.

KP: Was Yushchenko a close friend of Firtash?

VN: I don’t know.

KP: Did you ever ask Yushchenko?

VN: I never saw Firtash during my tenure at any government meeting or private meeting with Yushchenko, whom we briefed fully on all participants in Ukraine’s gas sector.

KP: U.S. officials who authored the cables published by WikiLeaks noted that Mogilevich reportedly controlled Russian gas exports to Ukraine and the region. If true, and if Mogilevich was acting in this capacity with Moscow’s permission, wouldn’t this be a threat to Ukraine’s national security?

VN: Of course.

KP: Wouldn’t it also be a threat if the proceeds from the gas trade were being funneled to pro-Moscow parties in Ukraine, those friendly with the Kremlin?

VN: This is something we were very concerned about. There were such organizations, one in the Crimea with only a dozen members, which received hundreds of thousands of dollars in financing.
The case would have never come to trial if Ukraine was a mafia state.”

KP: As head of the SBU, or now as a politician and a Ukrainian citizen, don’t you find it suspicious that Firtash, who made big profits in the gas business, had ties to Mogilevich and reportedly backed Yanukovych’s Moscow-friendly Party of Regions?

VN: I don’t know that Firtash has funded the Party of Regions. As for what Putin said, I refer to what I said earlier: that the SBU learned in late 2008 of an attempt by former top government officials in Kuchma’s administration to incorporate a successor to RosUkrEnergo. And we did our best not to let it happen.

KP: What would have been corrupt about that intermediary?

VN: The same thing as before: the lack of transparency.

KP: Are you saying that the arrangement involving RosUkrEnergo is not transparent?

VN: Russia and Ukraine should strive to come up with a more transparent arrangement for purchasing natural gas and do everything to limit the involvement of intermediary companies in the gas trade. The arrangement with RosUkrEnergo was not as transparent as it should have been, both from the Ukrainian and Russian sides.

KP: What’s the difference between being not transparent and corrupt?

VN: It’s important who the founders of any intermediary company are, where the money comes to found the enterprise, how it is structured, the gas price, and the formula for deriving it.

KP: And who in Ukraine decides which gas intermediary to use?

VN: In Ukraine, the decision is taken by the prime minister.

KP: How much does the Russian side have in who the intermediary is?

VN: As far as RosUkrEnergo goes, Vladimir Putin and Kuchma in July of 2004 agreed on using this intermediary.

KP: Many top officials in the Yanukovych’s inner circle have close ties with RosUkrEnergo, including Presidential Administration chief Serhiy Lyovochkin, who admits to being close friends with Firtash and Igor Fursin, another co-owner of RosUkrEnergo, and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko, who was on the coordination committee of RosUkrEnergo. Do you see any conflicts of interest here?

VN: That’s a question you should address to Ukraine’s currently law-enforcement authorities. I can only tell you what I knew as SBU chief from 2007-2010, working without the Mogilevich dossier. Our efforts were directed at preventing money laundering and reconstructing the dossier. I didn’t know who was partnering with whom.

KP: You didn’t know about Firtash and his connections?

VN: From 2007-2010, Firtash and Mogilevich were not in contact with one another and were not business partners. We would have found out if they were.

KP: Did you know that Firtash and Mogilevich were de facto business partners through associates before 2007. Did you know that they were joint shareholders – through wives and associates – in firms such as Rinvey and HighRock properties? These connections were reported in detail by the Financial Times some years ago.

VN: No comment.

KP: If it’s the case that Firtash was indeed a business partner of Mogilevich, it couldn’t have been by chance, could it?

VN: Maybe. I can only talk about subjects where I can be helpful, that is, about my role as SBU chief from 2007-2010 … about money laundering and reconstructing the Mogilevich dossier. I can’t comment on everything.

KP: Wasn’t it a concern that an individual who was linked via companies with Mogilevich controlled so much of the supply of gas to Ukraine?

VN: I don’t think that Firtash controlled so much. I think this might be an exaggeration. I don’t know how the gas trade worked under Kuchma. I would have to consult people who do. I can just answer for what it was like under my watch.

KP: But you believe the dossier destroyed by Turchynov showed links between United Energy Systems of Ukraine and Mogilevich.

KP: Let’s go back to the beginning of the interview when I asked whether you think Ukraine is a mafia state. Someone seems to not be telling the truth here. Was Mogilevich close to Tymoshenko’s gas trading company from the late 1990s, or RosUkrEnergo, or with both? You say that Mogilevich was linked to Tymoshenko’s firm. If true, then this alone suggests that organized crime has played a leading role in the past with connections to the highest of officials and most import sectors of the economy, such as energy and gas.

VN: Yes. It points to corruption at the highest levels of government. This is why I say that trade in gas and energy should be completely separated from politics. Political parties and politicians should not be engaged in the trade of natural gas. This is one of the reasons I joined Our Ukraine, a political party that has nothing to do with gas.

The temptation is so great, the profits are so huge, and the gas schemes are so complicated that no one from the European Union wants to get involved. The gas trade must be completely removed from politics.

KP: Do you think the country’s current top leadership, President Viktor Yanukovych’s team, shares this view? Are they separating the gas trade from politics?

VN: I don’t know. You should ask them. I don’t see evidence that the country’s top leaders have left the gas trade.

KP: So, I’m asking you again: do you think Ukraine is a mafia state?

VN: No. Various political forces compete against one another. There is an opposition, non-governmental organizations, and several independent media. That’s why my answer – no.

Individuals who make information available publicly are not the criminals. The criminals are those, including politicians who conspire to commit illegal acts, behind closed doors and lie to the public.”

KP: As a citizen or as a politician, do you think there is enough evidence to charge former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and current Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn (presidential chief of staff under Kuchma) in the murder and/or cover-up of the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze?

VN: As head of the SBU, I spent a lot of time and effort to locate and arrest [former police general] Oleksiy Pukach for carrying out the murder. We found Pukach, incarcerated him, and I am very happy the case is finally coming to trial. As a citizen, I demand that he has his day in court in a public trial.

When we captured Pukach, one of the first things he said was, “I am ready to name the people who ordered me to carry out the killing.” I want an open trial and for Ukrainians to hear from the militia general who, namely, ordered him to carry out the killing. The people he says gave him the orders to commit the crime should be questioned by state prosecutors.

KP: The lawyer for Gongadze widow, Valentyna Telychenko, says Pukach implicated Lytvyn and Kuchma in the murder and cover-up. Secret recordings made in Kuchma’s office, the so-called Melnychenko tapes, appear to support the allegation. And there was obviously a cover-up, no? So, I’m asking you again, do you think there is enough evidence to charge Kuchma and Lytvyn?

VN: It depends what Pukach says during the trial and whether the judge presiding over the case agrees to admit the recordings as evidence. What prevented [former presidential security guard Mykola] Melnychenko from turning over his recordings as evidence and properly demonstrating their authenticity?

Why didn’t he turn them over to the U.S. Justice Department as agreed in 2003? These are big questions that require answers. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the trial will be influenced by politics.

KP: Why aren’t Pukach’s allegations and other existing evidence that Kuchma and Lytvyn were involved enough to bring charges upon them?

VN: I don’t know what Pukach has told prosecutors investigating the case. If he testifies during the trial that Kuchma and Lytvyn were involved, both men should be brought in for questioning. What’s important is that the trial is public and Ukrainians see it as fair.

KP: Is not the fact that this case has come to trial 10 years after the murder – and the truth still seems far away – more evidence that Ukraine is a mafia state?

VN: No. The case would have never come to trial if Ukraine was a mafia state.

KP: When you headed the SBU, you said several times that authorities were very close to solving the case of the 2004 poisoning of presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko. Why is it still not solved?

VN: That’s a question you have to ask the General Prosecutor’s Office. I said and still maintain that there is enough evidence to charge the individuals involved in the crime and seek their extradition to Ukraine.

State prosecutors should formally ask their colleagues abroad to assist by bringing in the suspects for questioning. My position is that prosecutors should send cases to court, even if they are unable to gather all the evidence they want. A court of law should establish the fact that Yushchenko was poisoned in order to quash speculation to the contrary, identify the primary suspects and their whereabouts.

KP: Many Ukrainian citizens probably look at all these unsolved crimes involving top officials and the widespread corruption and make a conclusion: that Ukraine is a mafia state. They see how top officials are all connected to one another and part of a fight of power and wealth, but despite all the allegations of corruption, they all have de facto impunity from prosecution. None of them end up in jail. Don’t you see why many Ukrainians could see the country as being a mafia state?

VN: I think holding speedy public trials would help rectify the situation. High profile cases, such as the one involving the Lviv appellate court judge Ihor Zvarych [who is accused of taking bribes], are often bogged down for years with the accused eventually set free. This is blow against the country. I agree that our system of justice leaves much to be desired.

KP: You are now the new de facto head of the Our Ukraine party, replacing Yushchenko. The party is not very popular. How do you plan to rebuild trust in the party?

VN: I’ve already touched on how in the interview. It is necessary to separate business from the affairs of the party and to recruit young Ukrainians as party members. Many former members, especially businessmen, have left the party. Good riddance! We propose reducing corruption in our country by reducing the authority of government officials.

KP: Yushchenko said the same things before he became president in 2005. But he failed to deliver. How can you convince Ukrainians that you are different?

VN: We will focus on young people and put them in positions of authority. I did this when I was the head of the SBU, putting young people from NGOs in charge of a project to unclassify information about crimes committed against Ukrainians during Soviet times.

KP: If less than 5 percent of all Ukrainians are members of any political party, how can political parties operate without the backing of big business? Average citizens will not donate their money to parties. Who is paying for this office?

VN: We collect dues from party members. Yes, we are short of money for conducting political campaigns. There 256,000 members of Our Ukraine, with less than 1 percent representing big business. Members of the Our Ukraine council pay Hr 200 per month, while ordinary party members contribute Hr 10 per month.

KP: But Yushchenko is still active in the party, as the symbolic head if you will, while you head the politburo of the party. Do you think the party can still succeed with him, and his low popularity, dragging down on the party’s rating?

VN: I think his role and place in this party is very important because he was the leader of the Orange Revolution. He recently launched a new project, a new non-government organization, which will operate as sort of a think tank. It will be involved in national and international projects.

KP: So you don’t think he is damaging the popularity of the party, as indicated by sociological surveys.

VN: Professionally speaking, polls gauge the attitude of the people, which changes from day to day. Our popularity exclusively depends on us.


Many Whites use this symbol, which was formerly mostly propagated by the Negro and Muz hordes that The Kike has imported into Europe. Negroes and Muz mostly use it as a sign of their hatred of and contempt for Whites ("the elite"), but since it was seen as a sign of contempt for those in power it naturally became classified as "antisemitic". Almost everybody who is "caught" using it and attacked for using it responds that they are not "antisemitic", but are anti-Elites.

Nicolas Anelka banned for five matches and fined £80,000 for quenelle

• West Brom striker not found to be antisemitic
Player must undergo education programme
• Read the FA statement here

Guardian staff,, 27 February 2014

Nicolas Anelka has been suspended for five matches and fined £80,000 for his quenelle gesture in West Bromwich Albion's match against West Ham on 28 December.

He has also been ordered to complete a compulsory education course by a Football Association hearing at the Grove Hotel in Watford that was looking into the events that occurred during Albion's 3-3 draw at Upton Park.

The FA said its independent regulatory commission would provide written reasons for its decision in due course.

It said: "Mr Anelka has the right to appeal the decision. Mr Anelka must notify the FA of his intention to appeal within seven days of receipt of the written reasons.

"The penalty is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or Mr Anelka notifies the FA of his decision not to appeal."

Anelka was charged by the FA on 21 January with making a gesture which was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper.

It further alleged it to be an aggravated breach, in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief. Anelka denied both charges.

The French comedian Dieudonné M’bala has been banned from entering Britain. Photograph: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images
The FA said: "The regulatory commission heard from the player, two expert witnesses and submissions from leading counsel for the FA and Nicolas Anelka."

It said of the first charge: "The regulatory commission found this charge proved."

The FA said of the second charge: "The regulatory commission found this charge proved," but it added: "So far as the basis for our finding on Charge 2 is concerned, we did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an anti-semite or that he intended to express or promote anti-semitism by his use of the quenelle."

It continued: "In consequence of the finding on Charge 2, the player will be subject to an education programme, the details of which will be provided to him by the FA."

The FA had called in an independent expert to assess the symbolism of the quenelle before bringing the charge.

Anelka has said the gesture was anti-establishment rather than racist and made in solidarity with his friend, the French comedian Dieudonné M'bala.

Dieudonné has strongly denied the gesture has any antisemitic or racist connotations, and instead is effectively an "up yours" to the French establishment.

Dieudonné had told Sky News that: "In France it means simply a gesture against the system, and then after time it became a gesture of emancipation.

"Many Africans like me, descendants of slaves, it's for self-liberation."

Performing the quenelle by placing an upturned left hand across his right bicep, Dieudonné added: "That means liberation from a system, and it's because of that Nicolas Anelka did it.

"It's a gesture against submission to a system, a gesture belonging to the descendants of slaves who say 'Stop. It's done. I'm done'.

"There's no hint of racism. Racism is a bad thing."

"Anelka is a descendant of slaves and if he wants to remark on his history then he has a right to do so."

Quenelle Anne Frank

Quenelle JayZ Obongo

Obama 'La Quenelle' Photo Ignites Furor, Though It's Really Nothing

By Connor Adams Sheets, International Business Times, December 31 2013

The ongoing controversy over French comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala's "la quenelle" gesture, which has been described by Jewish advocacy groups as "anti-Semitic" and a “Nazi salute in reverse,” continues to rage, bringing President Barack Obama into the frenzy over the weekend in a development that generated attention on New Year's Eve in the American press and on social media sites.

The gesture, which involves pointing one straightened arm downward while touching that arm’s shoulder with the opposite hand, has gained popularity as fans of the comedian, who goes by just his first name on stage, have taken to adopting it to show solidarity with his offensive brand of comedy. It has been adopted by a number of anti-Semitic groups and individuals, some of whom have even posed photos of themselves performing it at the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Berlin Holocaust memorial.

Nicoloas Anelka, a soccer player for the English Premier League's West Brom team, attracted widespread criticism after he flashed the "la quenelle" salute after scoring a goal against West Ham over the weekend. In the days since then, he tried to downplay his decision to do so in face of condemnation by the EPL by denying it was anti-Semitic and tweeting that it was "was just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonné." NBA player Tony Parker has also come under fire in recent days, as a photo has emerged of the San Antonio Spurs star doing the gesture alongside the comedian.

But the latest stateside controversy, which for some reason took a couple of days to erupt in the U.S., surrounds a photo Anelka tweeted on Saturday of President Barack Obama, Jay Z and Beyonce that he seemed to believe was of them doing the "la quenelle" salute. But anyone with even a modicum of pop-culture knowledge would immediately know that the powerful trio were actually just doing Jay Z's famous "brush your shoulder off" move, and an Atlanta Black Star news report that accompanied the photo in 2012 confirms that reading of the image. Besides, the arms are reversed in the Obama photo.

For instance, Twitter user @jdl_uk_official accused Obama of being a Nazi in the following tweet: "#France #US What is the #quenelle salute and why are Nazis Barack #Obama and Tony Parker using it?"

And tweeter @coondawg68 also appeared to be accepting the concept that the gesture is in fact a "la quenelle" salute at face value in the following tweet: "Barack Obama, JayZ, Beyonce perform anti-Semitic 'quenelle' salute."

And even some news sites have run the rumors without questioning them. In a story on the growing controversy, Sports news site wrote the following: "Anelka also posted a picture of President Obama along with rapper Jay Z and his singer wife Beyonce also performing a similar salute." But the site failed to include a clarifying sentence explaining that it was just a harmless gesture.

However, some clear-headed Twitter users appeared to understand that it is all a misunderstanding. Take @judeinlondon, who attempted to clear the air with this tweet: "That Obama/Beyonce/Jay-Z picture... People *know* that's a "dirt off your shoulder" reference & not la quenelle right? Right?"

The niche international appeal of the gesture has become a flashpoint in France as Jewish groups express outrage at Dieudonné over offensive remarks he has made, including ones describing Holocaust remembrance events as "memorial pornography" and suggesting Radio France personality Patrick Cohen -- who is Jewish -- should leave the country, the Guardian reported.

“It's the Nazi salute in reverse,” Roger Cukierman, head of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, or CRIF, said after a number of Jewish advocacy groups expressed outrage over Dieudonné to French President Francois Hollande last week. “Very clearly, Mr. Dieudonne is developing a nearly professional anti-Semitism under the cover of telling jokes.”

In response to the Jewish group's complaints to Hollande, France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced on Friday that the country's government is considering banning performances by Dieudonné, who is half-French and half-Cameroonian and ran for the European Parliament in 2009 as part of the far-right “Anti-Zionist List,” Reuters reported.

"Dieudonne M'bala M'bala doesn't seem to recognize any limits any more," Valls said in a statement quoted by the Guardian. "From one comment to the next, as he has shown in several television shows, he attacks the memory of Holocaust victims in an obvious and unbearable way.”

France has experienced rising levels of intimidation and violence against its Jewish population in recent years, hitting a low point in March 2012, when a rabbi and three students were killed at a Jewish school in Toulouse.


Roman Popadiuk (b. Austrai, 1950) served as the first United States Ambassador to Ukraine, from 1992 to 1993, under George H.W. Bush. From 1999-2012, he served as the Executive Director of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation at Texas A&M University. He is now a Principal in Bingham Consulting LLC, a subsidiary of Bingham McCutchen LLP based in Washington, DC, and is a member of The Kike's Council on Foreign Relations.

Popadiuk, on MSNBC last weekend, said that Ukrainians must be left alone to sort out their own affairs, and that the US must become more "involved" in Ukraine in order to prevent foreign nations ("specifically, Russia") from "intervening".

1st US Ambassador to Ukraine 1992 to 1993



Order Firmly Established in All Western Countries Except France

Firm establishment of the B'nai B'rith in all West-European countries except France was reported by Hon. Alfred M. Cohen, at a 'welcome home' dinner, tendered him recently by leading Jews of Cincinnati under the chairmanship of Oscar Berman. Mr. Cohen's address dealt largely with his observations while on a three month's tour of Europe from which he returned last month. During his tour he visited England, Germany, Czecho-Slovakia, Holland and France.

He spoke in terms of enthusiasm concerning the status of the English Jew. He said that it was very satisfactory. It is a matter of general knowledge that no official position is denied a Jew because of his religion. Socially, too, he is regarded with reference to his merits. He heard complaints from many co-religionists in England that the English Jew did not contribute to Jewish causes with the degree of liberality that might reasonably be expected. He said that h:s visit to Jews' college where rabbis are educated and the absence of a Jewish center in the great city of London seemingly warranted the accusation. He compared the home .and physical equipment of Jew's college with institutions of a similar character in the United States, to the disadvantage of the former. Mr. Cohen's visit to Westminister Abbey showed him, he said, that no conforming Jew was there memorialized. Of course, he had not overlooked in Statesmen's Row, Disraeli, but Disraeli was not a conforming Jew. However, he had observed with great interest that there were in the chapel, in which kings and queens for 900 years have been coronated, life-sized figures of Moses, the statesman, bearing the scrolls of the law, and of David, the musician, with fingers on a harp. So, while no individual Jew was memorialized, the whole Jewish people were represented in these glorious figures. Mr. Cohen, as president of the B'nai B'rith, installed District Grand Lodge No. 15, the youngest district in the brotherhood. It comprises lodges in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The installation, he said, was under most favorable auspices and was a gala event.

Mr. Cohen found that large numbers of his Dutch co-religionists are apathetic in their Jewishness. The position of the Jews in Holland could scarcely be improved. No discrimination whatever exists against them.

Inter-marriages are of very frequent occurrence. In the Hague, he had been informed, 25 per cent of the total marriages among Jews were of that sort.

Position of German Jew Much Improved

Mr. Cohen's observations and information lead him to believe that since Germany has become a republic, the position of the Jew in that country has been very much improved. Anti-Semitism has decreased and in some places there was a total absence of it. A section of the press is prejudiced, but it is becoming less formidable. An immediate result of these bettered conditions is a closer attachment of the Jew to his own people. Inducement to assimilation being removed, there was little if any disposition to leave the fold. Naturally, the Germans are divided in their views as to whether the former regime or the present administration is best for them. No one, however, would welcome back the ex-emperor who is despised for the cowardly way m which he abandoned his people. Mr. Cohen said that he did not meet a single Jew who was not enthusiastically loyal to the republic. President von Hindenburg is loved by all classes because of his splendid administration of public affairs. Many of whom he met were not his adherents prior to his election, but nearly all expressed themselves as satisfied with him as president. While in Berlin, Mr. Cohen had a meeting with Chancellor Marx at the latter's private home which has been the residence of all the chancellors of Germany beginning with Bismarck. Chancellor Marx entrusted to Mr. Cohen the delivery of a messages to the people of the United States, which was read at the banquet. Mr. Cohen found the Jews of Frankfort on Main the most steadfast in their adherence to Judaism of all places he visited.

He regretted to have detected in too many cities in all countries a deplorable indifference to Judaism. In some instances he believed the rabbis were responsible. They would not yield in their strict conformity to ancient traditions with the result that the young were detracted. The opinion was expressed to him by some rabbis that it was better to directly lose through inter-marriage and apostacy a limited number than to introduce reform, which they believed was only the beginning of the end for all. The tour of Mr. Cohen lead him, in addition to England, Holland, and Germany, through . Czecho-Slovakia, Switzerland, Belgium and France.

He graphically described noted persons, and places in each of these countries to which he had been introduced. In all these countries except France the B'nai B'rith is firmly established. He said the Order is in splendid hands. The membership is composed of men who have distinguished themselves in public or specifically Jewish service. Membership in the Order is a badge of honor, thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed at its fuU valuer His visit among his brethren abroad had, if possible, increased his love for the B'nai B'rith and certainly had further inspired him to give his very best to its advancement, said Mr. Cohen in concluding his address.

Hilfsverein Starts Campaign for Jewish Colonization in Russia

Berlin. (J.T.A.) A plan to raise funds for furthering Jewish colonization work in Soviet Russia has been undertaken by the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden. The plan was inaugurated in a proclamation issued by the society which urges German Jews to subscribe generously toward the fund which will be created in memory of Paul Nathan, the late German Jewish leader who was a devoted worker for the colonization project. The proclamation adds that the Hilfsverein will recommence its activity in the Near East.

[The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, Volume 19, Issue 5, Page 6, 1927.10.07]

Chronicling a Community: Milwaukee's Jews and the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

By Steve Byers, UW-Milwaukee

The year was 1921. Milwaukee and the United States were coming out of what would be called World War I into a decade of relative prosperity. But it was also a time of distress for some newer Americans because the World War had fostered a rise in nativism that had some of this nation's ethnic communities on edge.1

To Milwaukee's Jewish community, it was the end of a period that had found that group almost tripling in size from an estimated 7,000 in 1907 to around 22,000 in 1922, with most of the growth coming from immigration, largely from Eastern Europe, according to historians Louis J. Swichkow and Lloyd P. Gartner. Despite the heavy immigration, a sizable number of Milwaukee Jews at that time were able to speak English.2

That sizable Jewish population speaking English becomes important because two men came into this community to establish Milwaukee's first English-language Jewish newspaper.3 The two, Nathan J. Gould and Irving G. Rhodes, had published Jewish newspapers in other Midwestern cities and dreamed of a chain of Jewish newspapers throughout the Midwest. On December 16, 1921, the pair started the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, a weekly publication that continues today. They produced a newspaper that was considered distinguished and solid. It also became successful enough that they abandoned plans for other publications and centered their attention on Milwaukee and the Chronicle.4

Despite the importance of ethnic newspaper editors and publishers,5 there has been surprisingly little written about the Chronicle or Gould and Rhodes. In Swichkow and Gartner's book, The History of the Jews of Milwaukee, the Chronicle is mentioned only twice. Gould and Rhodes get only one mention each. If one accepts the importance of leaders in immigrant communities as important in boundary setting,6 and I believe that importance has been well-documented, and if one accepts the role of newspapers in early ethnic communities as a key identity-defining organization,7 again a well-documented role, then it would seem that the role of Milwaukee's first and only English language newspaper deserves more attention.

This paper focuses attention upon the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle and its founders by determining the leadership role of newspapers in the immigrant/ethnic community in general, that of Jewish newspapers and the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle and along with its leaders, Nathan J. Gould and Irving G. Rhodes, in the Milwaukee Jewish community. It will focus on the crucial initial five years of existence for the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle when the newspaper was forging its community ties.


Immigrants in America frequently banded together in communities of similar ethnic backgrounds. This gave those new Americans valuable grounding in what has come to be called Americanization, a process of adapting to the new land's customs and language. Often, these communities guided the immigrant toward jobs, housing, even such things as ethnic grocers or clothing stores. These communities often were centered around a religious institution, a church or other place of worship.8 Americanization led to a new identity for the immigrants. They were now German-Americans, or Italian-Americans, or, as in the case of the community studied here, Jewish-Americans. Inevitably, these communities had leaders, individuals who helped bridge the contradictions between tradition and assimilation. Renegotiating an ethnic community's identity "was fraught with internal conflicts and dissension over the nature, history and destiny of its peoplehood," as stated in a Forum discussion in The Journal of American Ethnic History.9 Ethnic leaders presented to their followers the range of options that America held open. Because a structured immigrant community developed early in the assimilation process, community leaders included specific individuals who aided the traditional identity-defining organizations such as churches, fraternal associations and newspapers. These leaders came to be known as "ethnic mediators."10

Immigrant Jews faced particular problems from the 1880s through the period covered. This period of heavy immigration left them sharply divided by religious, linguistic, cultural and political differences.11 There were all sorts of internal divisions, because this was an immigrant group from widely-differing geographic and cultural backgrounds. Historian Victor Greene said these divisions caused tensions as severe as those caused by anti-Semitism.12 Earlier Jewish immigrants came from different geographical and cultural areas than those in the wave starting in the 1880s, thus differing in language and culture. Early Jewish immigrants came from England, Germany and Western Europe. Of the later wave of Jewish immigrants, the majority came from Poland, Russia and Eastern Europe.13 The coming of the great masses of the Eastern European Jews broke all the established uniform patterns of Jewish society.14 The older Jewish element resisted and resented the increasing number of Eastern European Jews with their different customs and language.


The split between the older and newer Jewish immigrants was especially rough in Milwaukee where the older Jewish community, following the example of other U.S. Jews, had formed an identity fundamentally similar to the majority Germanic culture, separated primarily by different religious beliefs.15 But the newcomers, most coming from Eastern Europe and Russia, believed that Jews were a people apart, not just another religious group.16 This is important since the older Jews, especially those coming from Germany, had sought acceptance by defining Jewish identity solely as religious in nature, relying on America's belief in religious freedom to prevent Jews from being singled out for harassment. This strategy had been successful.17 Milwaukee's early Jews had found a comfortable niche among the educated German elite of the community. Jews had been in Milwaukee since the early 1840s,18 forming the community's first Jewish congregation in 1848.19 By 1875, a census of Milwaukee's Jewish community released in 1875, showed a total of 2,068 Jews living in Milwaukee. But by 1895, owing to heavy immigration from Eastern Europe, Milwaukee's Jewish population had grown to 7,000, and it continued to grow, to 10,000 by 1907, 15,000 by 1912 and 20,000 by 1917, when it leveled off with the virtual shutdown of immigration in 1924. By 1929, Milwaukee's Jewish population was estimated at about 25,000.20

Milwaukee was considered a good place for Jews. It was a religiously tolerant community, and, as mentioned, Milwaukee's primarily German-stock older Jewish community had become part of the city's German culture.21 In the early part of this century Jews throughout America began to look outside their local community.22 They became involved in two political areas: Socialism and the growing Zionist movement, which urged the return of Jews to Palestine. These had the common aim of introducing the Jews as a people into the mainstream of modem history by linking them to the movements that were shaping the future of western mankind.23 The assimilation of Milwaukee's Jews into America's mainstream can be tracked by studying the decline of the German language in Milwaukee Jewish temples at the end of the last century and the beginning of this. Where German once was the only language spoken in those temples, the last German-language holdout voted to switch to English in 1912. This reflected the community's overall switch to the majority language.24 The German-centered Milwaukee Jewish community saw its role to "Americanize" the new Jewish immigrants in language, culture and even religion.25


Nine years later, the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle was founded in Milwaukee at an important time. Along with other parts of the U.S., Milwaukee was hit with a wave of anti-Semitism in the '20s. Urgent community efforts were made to demonstrate Jewish patriotism and Americanism (these, unfortunately, had almost no effort in abating the anti- Semitism). But central to those efforts in Milwaukee was the support during that period of the fledgling Chronicle, published in English and strongly American in outlook.26

In a community as diffuse and literate as that of American Jewry, the press plays a special role in decision-making by determining the kinds of information about Jewish life presented to its diverse audience, controlling its flow and shaping the channels of information within the community network as a whole.27 The Jewish press thus became a community builder and teacher.28 In a book on the organizational dynamics of American Jewry, Daniel J. Eleazar summed up Jewish community leadership as falling into three broad areas: 1) congregational (rabbis, boards), 2) community (communal workers, cosmopolitan volunteers), and 3) peripherals (academics, youth and women). "Finally," he wrote, "there is the Jewish press, which stands a class apart."29

Newspapers are important to all immigrant communities.30 Ethnic groups are constantly recreating themselves and boundaries must be repeatedly renegotiated, and the press played a vital role.31 The ethnic press mainly was informational, carrying news of the country of origin, of compatriots elsewhere in the U.S., and, of course, the local community. It also socialized its readers to the United States as it educated them and itself became a tool of adjustment.32 It didn't matter if a community had a number of non-literates, because issues of ethnic newspapers were shared.33 The content of Jewish newspapers falls into five major categories: defending religious beliefs, inspirational and culturally important history, editorials and official announcements, news of home and community and foreign and national news.34 To journalism historian Barbara Straus Reed, "Readers come to define their Jewishness through the publication they read."35


The Jewish community had been served by a non-English-language press in the past. Now, English-language became most important. Jews of the pre-1880s immigration had committed themselves to education and Americanization. That led to the ascendancy of the English language in the Jewish community.36 A newspaper printed in English became a unifying force within a Jewish community that was dispersing itself among city and suburbs. Unlike some other ethnic groups, Jews spread about their communities. What came to be called the Anglo-Jewish press (because it was printed primarily in English) linked a dispersed, highly suburbanized population to the local network of Jewish life.37 It fostered, moreover, a feeling of unity and consensus within that community. It was a forum for the Jewish community to discuss problems that had arisen with the arrival of the large numbers of Yiddish-speaking and culturally different Eastern European Jews.38 Paradoxically, the mass emigration of non-English speakers from Eastern Europe directly led to the growth and quality of the Anglo-Jewish press. The presence of a highly visible Yiddish-speaking population heightened the self-consciousness of the established Jews, now mostly middle-class and well-integrated into American life. Also "a host of new problems involving the integration of new immigrants into society required public discussion and communal solutions," according to Victor Greene,39 adding to the importance of community newspapers.

The Jewish press differed from that of most other ethnic groups.40 English wasn't the only language for Jewish newspapers. The most successful Jewish newspaper nationally, the Jewish Daily Forward, edited by Abraham Cahan, was in Yiddish. Many communities, including Milwaukee, also had Yiddish publications, although they lost ground in the early part of this century, generally to English-language newspapers. There also were continued attempts to build a press publishing in the Hebrew language. It didn't last because it refused to address itself to the tastes of its potential public. It set itself up as an intellectual press, which gave it little rapport with the larger American Jewish audience. Also, Hebrew periodicals often expressed contempt and dislike for America, which limited their appeal in a Jewish community determined to assimilate.41 As one historian of the ethnic press, Michael Gary Brand, said of the Hebrew-language press: "The mass of Jews in America was not ready to respond to its 'non-Americanization' message."42 In fact, the English-language press took a strong toll on this segment of the Jewish press.43 Localized American press historically has drawn its strength from its ability to embody community identity that gives people roots and defines them. That was the role of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, according to Sylvia Bernstein a long-time staff writer for the Chronicle:

"While all papers are published for, by and of the people, with Jews it's more so. 'It's the nature of the business,' [Irving G.] Rhodes said after I reported to him that a suburban matron had called charging discrimination against her club because she felt its effects deserved front page space. 'Since the paper was Jewish, it partially belonged to her, didn't it?' "44

Milwaukee has had several Jewish newspapers. Milwaukee's first, the Zeitgeist, was published in German by a Milwaukee rabbi from 1880 to 1882. Next, in 1914, came the Wochenblat, a Yiddish newspaper. However, by 1925, it lost what distinction it had and remained an inconsequential mouthpiece for its editor, publisher Isador Horwitz, until it folded in 1932. One cause of its decline, according to Louis Swichkow and Lloyd P. Gartner, was the establishment in 1921 of the Chronicle.45 There was another attempt at a Yiddish-language newspaper, the Mihwauker Idishe Shtimme, which lasted just a year from September 1930, to September, 1931.46


The year 1921 was a good time to start an English-language newspaper in Milwaukee. A historian of American ethnic newspapers, Sally Miller, says that newspapers appeared when at least the nucleus of a particular community existed to which a publication might give form.47 To Swichkow and Gartner, that was 1921, when the "reading audience existed in sizable numbers and interest in local and general Jewish affairs had been stimulated by the World War."48

Readers across the Jewish community depended on the Chronicle to keep abreast of social events, club news, local editorials and columns by Jewish savants because no other such organ existed then.49 And as Irving G. Rhodes told his staff in later years, the Chronicle reminded Milwaukee Jews of their Jewish heritage and their community. "How else could Chronicle readers know whose daughter was going to marry whose son? Which friend's child earned a Ph.D.? What was the Jewish interpretation of national and international news?"50

The Chronicle clearly was interested not just in communication but consensus-building in its community. Looking back at the Chronicle four decades after its founding, Swichkow and Gartner commented that it was a publication that "generally swept communal issues and disputes under the rug." They said that just by reading its pages, one would be hard-pressed to know there were any splits in the community.51 That appears to come from the policy of the publisher Gould's and editor Rhodes' commitment to seek to unify the community

Because few letters or other direct insight into the thoughts of Rhodes and Gould are available, it is very instructive to look at the archived letters of Rabbi Joseph Baron who in 1926 joined Milwaukee's most important Jewish congregation, Congregation Emanu-El, five years after the founding of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, and who kept copies of his extensive correspondence. A 1926 letter, his first mentioning the Chronicle, talked about how "the Jewish press and pulpit have a common cause and many points of contact."52 He then talked about how he was looking forward to cooperating with the newspaper "in our sacred work." His final mention, 25 years later, was in a letter praising the newspaper and its leaders as having "served faithfully the best interests of a great and growing Jewish community for nearly three of the most momentous decades ever."53 What makes these especially interesting is a letter two years after that, oh so hopeful, initial letter to Nathan Gould reading:

"Even though you have not yet done me the courtesy of complying with, or as much as acknowledging the receipt of, my letter of Dec.30, 1927, and am sending you herewith, as per your request, a brief message for your Rosh Hashana [sic] paper.

"As for encouragement for the hopes and ideas that I have in connection with my congregation, I frankly do not expect it from your paper any more, or at least not yet, and to quote the spirit of Mordecai's message to Esther, -- salvation will come without your intercession or co-operation.

"Just the same, you have my sincerely good wishes for a really happy year."54

Gould's reply summed up his dedication to a behind-the-scenes role. After expressing surprise at Baron's bitterness, he wrote: "I am ready to assist you as far as I can in any of your undertakings, but I can only do so through the paper.... My relation to the community is that of a journalist not as a crusader. The Chronicle would be a failure if I attempted to set myself up as a provocative communal leader, and so for all practical purposes I remain in the background of personal leadership. Any deviation from that policy has been detrimental to the paper."55

Both Gould and Rhodes chose to lead behind the scenes, with their newspaper expressing its heartfelt desire to lead by example, not by activism. In a front-page editorial in its initial issue, the newspaper's role is spelled out clearly:

"The Chronicle will . . . contain matter of interest to every member of the family. It will serve as your community bulletin, reporting the activities of all Jewish institutions -- Congregations, Charities, Lodges, Clubs, Societies and other communal organizations. The Cronicle [sic] will present in dignified journalist fashion the news of Jewish interest from all over the world through its national and international news services. . . . The Chronicle represents no particular section or group of the Jewish people. It is a medium of expression for ALL the Jewish people of every shade of opinion. It will not propagandize, it will only report. It shall be all that its name implies -- A JEWISH CHRONICLE."56


A cursory content analysis suggests how well the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle fulfilled its self-proclaimed mission of consensus. The first five years' editions of the Chronicle were analyzed using criteria for content analyses of newspapers established by Guido H. Stempel of Ohio University.57 This study was conducted of the front pages and editorial pages of editions of the Chronicle during its first five years of existence. The analysis found that, of stories given prominence either by position or by headline size,58 a third were of local subjects. While no attempt was made to scientifically subdivide those stories into categories, virtually all of those stories involved charity drives; announcements of upcoming community events or reports on such events; plans for local religious buildings; appointments of Jews to religious, business or civic posts; and obituaries of local Jews. National and international Jewish news comprised 59 percent of the stories. The most popular national topics included anti-Semitism, immigration, charity drives, Zionism and national speeches. There were only four front page editorials noted; three concerned progress of the Chronicle and the other commented on a charity drive.59 The majority of Chronicle editorial page editorials (55 percent) concerned local topics with the most popular comments concerning local civic groups and religious holidays.60

The study does support the observation by Swichkow and Gartner that the Chronicle did not report community controversies. At least, none was observed in the five-year period studied. From this, especially given the extensive number of local stories reported and given the fact that the Milwaukee Jewish community was relative large and disparate, it appears that the publisher and editor of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle intentionally chose to focus their efforts on consensus-building. This is buttressed by the words of those leaders themselves in editorials marking anniversaries of the founding of the paper. Four are worth noting: An editorial marking "our first anniversary" praised the Chronicle for its mission as a "community bulletin to the organizations and activities of the Jewish people of Milwaukee," saying its "publicity" for activities and social and personal columns "have served to acquaint all the people of the community" with personal news, and that its advertising columns "have contained announcements of the most prominent firms in the city and state."61 An editorial celebrating its second anniversary said: "this paper has without question been instrumental in aiding through its printed voice the success of the many Jewish communal enterprises that have developed for Milwaukee a reputation as one of the best organized Jewish communities in America." Later in the same editorial, it said: "in the short span of a few years it has developed from an ambitious journalistic experiment to the proportion of an established institution in the state of Wisconsin. It has become in fact what it was intended to be -- the medium of expression for all Jewish people of this city and state."62 A 1923 editorial marking a decision by the national Union of American Hebrew Congregations to discontinue publication of its bulletin said it had been a good decision because the bulletin was no longer needed:

The weekly local Jewish newspapers in America is the greatest force outside of the synagogue and school in keeping Judaism alive. It is read by thousands of Jews who otherwise would hardly ever come in contact with things Jewish. In its presentation of news of local Jewish events and of the doings of local Jewish organizations, in its timely publication of national and international news of Jewish interest, in its unprejudiced and purely journalistic presentation of all Jewish movements, in its editorial comment and even in its social and personal columns, it constantly keeps Jewish interest of Jews and Judaism alive.63

Finally, in an editorial marking the completion of five years of service, the Chronicle said of its policy: "It has been militant only when the good name of all Jewry was involved, never to advance the interests of one group of Jews over another group of Jews. It has been the aim of the Chronicle to develop a Jewish consciousness without adjectival distinction and has sought common ground of Jewish interest upon which all classes of Jews could rally."64

Another way to measure the success of the Chronicle and its editors is to look at others' opinions on how well it filled its self-appointed role: In a letter marking its first anniversary, A.P. Rosenberg, chairman of Zionist Organization of Wisconsin, said the Chronicle's future was assured "if your present policy of conservatism, fairness and fearlessness is continued."65 In the same issue, Rabbi Samuel Hirshberg of Temple Emanu-El called the Chronicle "a paper for all the Jews of the city and the state, and not for any particular section or class of them." He said the newspaper "presents with complete fairness and entire absence of all bias, the views and interests of all."66 A similar view was voiced in 1971 as the Chronicle celebrated 50 years of publication. Louis J. Swichkow, who have given the newspaper short shrift six years earlier in his history of Milwaukee Jews but was now representing the Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue he served as chief rabbi, said: "Because this publication has always aimed at making its weekly issues a forum for the entire Jewish community, the columns of the Chronicle have voiced and reflected the diversified views of all segments of Milwaukee Jewry."67 A letter contained in an appreciation book upon Rhodes' 70th birthday from Melvin F. Zaret, retired executive vice president of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, called him "one of the most distinguished leaders ever in this community.... There are not many people who can have the kind of impact on a community that he had."68 Another letter in the collection, from Philip Slomovitz, editor of a Michigan Jewish newspaper, said Rhodes had been a major factor in elevating standards of the English-Jewish press and "in proving his community with one of the best periodicals in America. If I were to list the five best English-Jewish weeklies in this country, I would definitely include among them the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle."69 Finally, in an editorial upon Rhodes' death in 1977 quoted in the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, the Detroit Jewish News said he had elevated the Chronicle "into one of the most readable, most attractive English-Jewish newspapers" and called him "a leader in his community."


The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle and its founders, Nathan J. Gould and Irving G. Rhodes, set out to create a newspaper to serve as a community focus for Milwaukee's Jews, to create a unified Milwaukee Jewish community behind the German Jewish leadership that existed in Milwaukee at that time. They chose to create a different kind of Jewish newspaper leadership than that of the best-known Jewish newspaper editor, the flamboyant Abraham Cahan of the Jewish Daily Forward, who took a very public role in speaking and writing of an evangelical nature.70 From comments of others both during the initial five years of the newspaper's operation covered in this paper and at later periods, its commercial success in the more than 75 years since its founding, and in a content analysis of its first five years, it appears that Gould and Rhodes succeeded in establishing the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle as that community "bulletin" they set out to create. As to its success in Americanizing Milwaukee's Eastern European Jews, Switchkow and Gartner repeatedly reported on the city's "stable" Jewish community and its integration into Milwaukee society after the unsettling years of massive immigration, Americanization and founding of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle.


1. Louis J. Switchkow and Lloyd P. Gartner, The History of the Jews of Milwaukee, (Philadelphia, Pa." The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1963), 285.
2. Switchkow and Gartner, History of the Jews of Milwaukee, 67-68.
3. Earlier newspapers the pair founded were in Detroit, Kansas City and Indianapolis. Ewarde F. Perlson, "History of The Chronicle Accents 50 Years of Epochal World Events," Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle,17 September 2971, 10.
4. Switchkow and Gartner, History of the Jews of Milwaukee, 334.
5. Sally Miller, The Ethnic Press in the United States: A Historical Analysis and Handbook, (New York, N.Y.: Greenwood Press, 1987)., xv.
6. For a comprehensive discussion of the role of ethnic leaders in American immigrant communities, see Victor R. Greene, American Immigrant Leaders 1800-1910: Marginality and Identity, (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), 1-16.
7. Ibid., 13.
8. Gerald Herbert Gamm, Neighborhood roots: Exodus and stability in Boston, 1870-1990, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, 1994) 83-91.
9. Kathleen Neils Conzen, David A. Gerber, Ewa Morawska, George E. Pozetta and Rudolph J. Vecoli, "The Invention of Ethnicity: A perspective From the U.S.A.," Journal of American Ethnic History 12: no. 1(Fall, 1992), 16. 10. Greene, American Immigrant Leaders, 14.
11. Conzen., et. al., "Invention of Ethnicity," 15.
12. Greene, American Immigrant Leaders, 14.
13. Daniel J. Elazar, Community and Polity: the Organizational Dynamics of American Jewry, (Philadelphia, Pa.: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1976), 38-39.
14. Ibid., 22.
15. Kathleen Neils Conzen, Immigrant Milwaukee 1836-1860: Accommodation and Community in a Frontier City, (Cambridge, Ma.: Harv ard University Press, 1976), 107.
16. Elizabeth Rose, "From Sponge Cake to Hamentashen: Jewish Identity in a Jewish Settlement House, 1885-1952," Journal of American Ethnic History 14, no. 3, (Spring, 1994), 6.
17. Ibid.,5.
18. Conzen, Immigrant Milwaukee, 166.
19. Bayrd Still, Milwaukee: The History of a City, (Madison, Wis.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1965), 92.
20. Switchkow and Gartner, History of the Jews of Milwaukee, 67-68.
21. Ibid., xi.
22. Ibid., 345.
23. Ibid., 235.
24. Ibid., 200.
25. Ibid., 170, 260, 285.
26. Ibid, 280-285.
27. Elazar, Community and Polity, 291.
28. Barbara Straus Reed, "The Antebellum Jewish Press: Origins, Problems, Functions," Journalism Monographs, (June, 1993), 27.
29. Elazar, Community and Polity, 268.
30. Miller, Ethnic Press in the United States, xii.
31. Conzen, et. al., "Invention of Ethnicity," 5.
32. Miller, Ethnic Press in the United States, xv.
33. Ibid., xiii.
34. Reed, "The Antebellum Jewish Press," 5.
35. Ibid., 30.
36. Arthur A. Goren, "The Jewish Press," The Ethnic Press in the United States: A Historical Analysis and Handbook, ed. Sally Miller, (New York, N.Y.: Greenwood Press, 1987), 204.
37. Ibid., 207.
38. Ibid., 204-205.
39. Greene, American Immigrant Leaders, 204.
40 Goren, "The Jewish Press," 203.
41. Michael Gary Brand, "All, All Alone: The Hebrew Press in America From 1914 to 1924," American Jewish Historical Quarterly 59, no. 2 (December, 1969), 173.
42. Ibid., 174.
43. Edward Hunter, In Many Voices: Our Fabulous Foreign-Language Press, (Hormar Park, Ga.: Norman College Press, 1960), 111.
44. Sylvia Bernstein, "The Lion at 340 N. Milwaukee," Insight Magazine, The Milwaukee Journal, (August 20, 1972), 12.
45. Switchkow and Gartner, History of the Jews of Milwaukee, 334.
46. Ibid., 335.
47. Miller, Ethnic Press in the United States, xv.
48. Switchkow and Gartner, History of the Jews of Milwaukee, 285.
49. Bernstein, "The Lion at 340 N. Milwaukee,'" 11.
50. Ibid., 10.
51. Switchkow and Gartner, History of the Jews of Milwaukee, 335.
52. Rabbi Joseph Baron to Nathan Gould, 11 August 1926, State Historical Society, Fromkin Archives, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
53. Rabbi Joseph Baron to Irving J. Rhodes, 22 February 1950, State Historical Society Collection, Fromkin Archives, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
54. Baron to Gould, 31 August 1928.
55. Gould to Baron, 12 September 1928.
56. Unsigned editorial, Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, 16 December 1931, 1.
57. Procedures were adapted from Guido H. Stempel, "Content Analysis,' Research Methods in Mass Communications, ed. Guido H. Stempel and Bruce H. Westley, (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1989), 124-148. It involved analysing front pages and editorial pages of the first edition of each month plus the annual Rosh Hoshannah and anniversary editions during the initial year of publication, then the first edition of each three month period plus the two anniversary editions and one edition chosen at random for each of the subsequent four years.
58. Position means touching the top of the page regardless of headline size. Headline size means that all stories with a headline of more than one-fifth of an inch (14 points) in height were counted.
59. Results of content analysis of Page One of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle: Total stories fitting criteria (14 point headline or top of page display) numbered 367. These broke down into the following categories (established by Barbara Straus Reed as typical of ethnic newspapers): National and international news (of Jews and Jewish matters), 215 or 59 percent; News of home and community, 122 or 33 percent; Editorials and the publications' notices, 11 or 3 percent; Defining religious beliefs, 10 or 3 percent; inspirational and cultural history, 9 or 2 percent.
60. Editorials broke down as follows: Of 117 editorials in the period studied, 64 (or 55 percent) were on local subjects and 53 (or 45 percent) were on national subjects. The five most popular local subjects were: Celebrating holidays (13), honoring civic organizations (13), giving to charities (12), honoring local persons (8), commenting on religious questions (6). No attempt was made to further categorize editorials on non-local topics athough numerous editorials were noted on the subjects of immigration policy, anti-Semitism and the deaths of prominent Jews.
61. Chronicle, 15 December 1922, 4.
62. Ibid., 14 December 1923, 4.
63. Ibid., 6 July 1923, 4.
64. Ibid., 24 December 1926, 4.
65. Ibid., 15 December 1922, 1.
66. Ibid., 15 December 1922, 6.
67. Ibid., 17 October 1971, 1.
68. Melvin F. Zaret to Milwaukee Jewish Federation, 8 June 1970, Milwaukee Jewish Federation archives.
69. Chronicle, 7 April 1977, 4.
70. Greene, American Immigrant Leaders, 102.

Unrest in Ukraine: A Jew Federation Update

What's happening in Ukraine, and what Federation is doing about it

It started in November with peaceful protests against government actions to strengthen political ties with Russia instead of the European Union. It snowballed over the next few months into violent confrontations between police and protestors, resulting in dozens dead, hundreds injured, a fugitive ex-President, and scenes of destruction that have gripped the world. Russia is performing massive military exercises near the border and pro-Russia gunmen have seized government buildings in Crimea. And it’s not over.

Although the estimated 300,000 Jewish residents in the capital city of Kiev and throughout Ukraine are not outright targets of violence, it has touched them like everyone else. Some Jews in Kiev live close to Independence Square, site of protest encampments and some of February’s deadliest clashes, and are afraid to leave their houses. On February 23, the Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, 250 miles southeast of Kiev, was firebombed. There are concerns about deepening divisions in the country and the rise of the radical right.

But Jewish Federations and our partner agencies, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish Agency for Israel, and World ORT, are there. Since we’ve supported Jewish life and organizations in Ukraine for decades, we were able to step up when the need for help intensified.

JDC has activated its emergency response network to ensure continued home deliveries of food, medicine, heating and cooking fuel, and sustained life-saving care at home for the elderly. JDC has increased security at select Jewish communal institutions and Hesed social welfare centers. For updates, please visit JDC’s Ukraine page.

The Jewish Agency has tapped its Emergency Assistance Fund, started in 2012, to bolster security at Ukraine’s many Jewish institutions, including synagogues, yeshivas and community centers. For more on the Jewish Agency's actions, please see this update and the Jewish Agency’s website.

World ORT has launched a campaign to raise $200,000 to fund increased security at four of its schools in Ukraine. Each school has several hundred students, many of whom travel to class through now-dangerous areas; the father of a student at the Chernovtsy school was killed during clashes in Kiev on February 20. Plans include hiring additional security guards and installing closed-circuit TV and alarm systems on school grounds. For more information on World ORT’s Ukraine programs and needs, please read ORT’s Ukraine prospectus and school security plan.

Additionally, NCSJ is sending out frequent communication briefs informed by various governmental, non-governmental, and Jewish communal sources. To receive updates, please visit NCSJ’s website.
These efforts, and so many more, are being funded by Jewish Federation dollars. Donate to your local Federation's Annual Campaign now to ensure we can continue to help Jews around the world during times of crisis.

For information about emerging needs and funding opportunities within the Ukrainian Jewish community, please contact Danny Labin or Becky Caspi.

Hours Against Hate

Seeking to stop bigotry and promote respect across lines of culture, religion, tradition, class and gender, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation has launched a new initiative called Hours Against Hate.

Visit to see how you can get involved.


Ben-Gurion Society
Benjamin Cardozo Society
Maimonides Society
Rothschild Society


Forward Forum:

Will Ukraine's Revolution Be Good for Its Jews?

With Foot in Both Camps, Community Looks Beyond Protests

By David E. Fishman, The Jewish Daily Forward, February 26, 2014.

I teach modern Jewish history. Usually, when I mention Ukraine in class, my students’ eyes glaze over. But lately that hasn’t been the case. The eyes of the world have been turned to Kiev, the city that was home to Sholem Aleichem, and the birthplace of Golda Meir. People are now wondering whether this revolution is good or bad for the approximately 100,000 Jews who live in Ukraine.

The political parties that led the protest movement, and that have now assumed power, represent a wide spectrum of Ukrainian society. Anyone who was fed up with the corrupt, kleptocratic and dictatorial regime joined the protests. This included many good guys, and not a few anti-Semites.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, head of the mainstream Fatherland Union party (whose previous leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, was released from prison last Saturday), is one of the good guys. He issued a strong statement against anti-Semitism on World Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, in the midst of the protests.

“The Maidan [the protest movement in Independence Square] does not accept ‘black hundred’ slogans,” he said, referring to the notorious anti-Semitic organization that flourished more than a hundred years ago in Tsarist Russia. “This protest has no place for hatred towards our compatriots based on their ethnic heritage, faith, or home region. We are all part of the Ukrainian nation.” He reiterated an offer to send defense units to protect synagogues during the period of unrest.

Yatsenyuk was himself — during the presidential elections of 2010 — the target of a whispering campaign that he was Jewish, and therefore not a true Ukrainian. As a friend of mine who lives in Kiev observed: “It’s totally false, he isn’t Jewish. He’s just a well-educated person.”

On the other hand, the Svoboda party, which was the junior partner in the protest movement (after Yatsenyuk’s Fatherland and Vitali Klitschko’s Punch party), is overtly anti-Semitic and, many would argue, neo-Nazi. Its party literature blames the Jews for the Bolshevik Revolution and Communist rule in Ukraine, and unabashedly uses the word zhidy (kikes). One of its parliamentarians published a Ukrainian translation of a collection of writings by Joseph Goebbels, and referred to the Holocaust as “one of the brightest pages in European history.”

Optimists like to point out that Svoboda only garnered around 10 percent of the vote in the last parliamentary elections, so the party is much weaker than analogous right-wing movements in Hungary or France. They also note that the Jews are far from being Svoboda’s top enemy: Russians, foreign immigrants, and homosexuals figure much more prominently in their pantheon of hatred.

Finally, the movement’s leaders were prudent enough to refrain from anti-Semitic pronouncements while speaking from the rostrum of Independence Square. They knew that their country needed Western sympathy and aid, and that railing against zhidy would only hurt their cause. But these are not compelling reasons to feel reassured.

Yatsenyuk’s Fatherland or Svoboda? Whither the Ukrainian revolution? Whether these two groups will continue to cooperate or go their separate ways now that the revolution is over is the $64,000 question. For everybody, but especially for Jews. If the partnership continues, the revolution will have betrayed its rhetoric of a democratic and pluralistic Ukraine.

There were two anti-Semitic attacks near Kiev’s Podol synagogue in mid-January, just after former President Viktor Yanukovych announced draconian laws against freedom of speech and assembly. Whether these attacks were carried out by right-wing oppositionists or by Yanukovych’s bands of hired thugs (known as titushki) is hotly disputed. Yatsenyuk charged that the assaults were “provocations,” part of the regime’s campaign of dirty tricks to frighten Jews and smear the protest movement in the eyes of the West.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the organized Jewish community was divided during the course of the revolution. One of the country’s chief rabbis, Rabbi Moshe Asman of Chabad-Lubavitch, called on Jews to flee Kiev and, if possible, the country. He asked the Israeli government to assist in their evacuation. The other chief rabbi, Rabbi Yaakov Bleich, an American-born Stoliner Hasid, expressed some sympathy with the protest movement. He sent one of his deputies to offer prayers to the demonstrators in Independence Square.

Leaders associated with Chabad-Lubavitch both in Kiev and Moscow have towed close to the Kremlin’s line that the Ukrainian revolution is run by fascists and neo-Nazis. Other Jewish leaders, such as Vadim Rabinovich, president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, didn’t take sides and issued pleas for reconciliation. Rabinovich is an interesting case. An oligarch with close ties to Russia, who made his millions under the previous regime, he gradually inched toward the opposition, and then toward acceptance of the new regime.

This Monday, with the revolutionaries in power, he issued a statement that “even in this complicated time of civil conflict, there is no basis for saying that there have been serious cases of anti-Semitism in Ukraine. I categorically reject the statements in the foreign press that there has been massive anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Ukraine.”

During the months of protests, most Ukrainian Jews felt that this was a fight they should stay out of. They didn’t trust either side. But there was a marked generational divide. Most older Jews are Russian-speaking, and support the former regime’s policy of close ties with Russia. They associate all forms of Ukrainian nationalism with the Nazi collaborators of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army during World War II.

Younger Jews are more integrated into Ukrainian life and culture. They yearn to see the country become a modern European democracy, and many of them participated in the demonstrations at Independence Square. One Jewish newspaper in Kiev published an interview with a young Modern Orthodox man who joined the opposition’s paramilitary organization. He considered his activity in defense of the demonstrators a sanctification of God’s name. The young man reported that his unit had four other Jews in it, all with Israeli military training, and that he had experienced no anti-Semitism in his dealings with fellow fighters.

The most ardent Jewish supporter of Maidan has been Joseph Zissels, chairman of the Va’ad—Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities in Ukraine. Since his days as a young dissident in the 1960s, Zissels has worked to bring together the Ukrainian and Jewish movements. He spent six years in the Soviet Gulag, and went on to found the Va’ad in 1989. Zissels argues that Jews and Ukrainians need to turn a new page in their relations, and overcome old grudges, suspicions, and stereotypes. Maidan represents integration with Europe, he says. That is good for Ukraine, and is especially good for its Jews.

On the night of February 20, after the bloodiest day in modern Ukrainian history, with more than 70 people dead in the streets of Kiev and society on the verge of civil war, the country’s most respected TV political talk show, “Freedom of Speech,” featured an interview with Zissels.

In its most trying hour, Ukraine turned to a Jew for wisdom and insight. He warned against vilification of any group, including Russians: “I don’t believe in collective guilt.” Now that the Ukrainian revolution is a fact, we can only hope that voices like that of Zissels will prevail.

David E. Fishman is professor of Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and a senior research scholar at YIVO. He directs JTS’s program in the former Soviet Union, “Project Judaica.”


- Ukraine Jews Hunker Down Amid Turmoil
- Ukrainian Jews Join Nationalists in Protest of President Viktor Yanukovych
- Ukraine: Don’t Scapegoat Your Jews and Muslims

This article was made possible because of readers like you.

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community


Mel Tillman: As the 81 year old progeny of Jews unfortunately born in the Czarist Ukraine that were able to escape and get to the USA in the early 1920s. Had they stayed they would have been candidates for a bullet to the back of the head in Babi Yar.. Every effort should be made to convince Ukrainian Jews to leave, their future there is almost as bad as their past.

@CpaHoffman: the best result for Ukrainian Jews would be for them to acknowledge how tenuous their position really is, and for them to take steps towards moving to more hospitable countries - US, Israel, and other democracies

@CpaHoffman: best thing that can happen is for the Jews of Ukraine to say a final goodbye and get themselves out of harm's way. nationalism in Ukraine carries with it attacks on Jews. Nothing has changed in 400 years, and nothing will change in the next 400

sydellr: Our foreign policy leaves much to be desired. We did not intervene in Iran-in Egypt we forced Mubarak to resign even though he had prevented the rise of militant islam for years-We are silent while hundreds or thousands are being killed in Syria and what have we doing about Darfur ? How many people remember when we forced the Shah of Iran ill with cancer to a\dicate? Since there is no longer a threat of a Cold War between Russia and the United States why are we intervening in Ukraine ? The Ukranians which includes their Jewish population appear to have achieved what the majority wanted. Is this now not a matter for the Ukranians and the European Union ? Neither the United States or any other country will intervene because of Anti Semitism

Ira L. Jacobson: A Ukrainian paramilitary organization with Jews "with Israeli military training'? Sounds like former olim who returned to the Ukraine. What in the world would impel a Jew to take such a foolish step?

Harvey Redgrandad Smith: Wishful thinking that the so called protesters aren't neo nazis, why hasn't the leadership publicly distance themselves from these vermin. Look at the history of the Ukraine. Fatherland? Now here have we heard that before.


Caricature of Mark Zuckerberg in German paper called anti-Semitic

February 25, 2014

BERLIN (JTA) — A caricature of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a German newspaper has drawn charges of anti-Semitism against the artist and newspaper.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center protested the depiction of Zuckerberg by artist Burkhard Mohr in the Suddeutsche Zeitungas daily Feb. 21 featuring the 29-year-old Jewish entrepreneur as an octopus reaching with its tentacles to control social media — a comment on Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp announced last week.

Mohr and Suddeutsche Zeitungas both apologized for the cartoon.

The exaggerated features include the stereotypically Jewish long hooked nose and thick lips. A leader of Germany’s Jewish community, Dieter Graumann, said the cartoon was on the level of Sturmer, the infamous Third Reich magazine, according to Tablet magazine.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, told the Algemeiner newspaper that the cartoon was “an outrage” that proves the artist is anti-Semitic.

Mohr told The Jerusalem Post that he was shocked by the interpretation of his drawing and replaced the caricature of Zuckerberg’s face with a gaping maw.

In a message on Twitter, Suddeutsche Zeitungas wrote “We are sorry!”


G. K. Chesterton:

"Bad story writing is not a crime. Mr. Hall Caine walks the streets openly, and cannot be put in prison for an anticlimax."

Hall Craine wrote the novel The Christian, and the play based on the novel (Broadway 1899, with Viola Allen as Glory Quayle)). At age 29 he married a 13-year-old girl. They remained married for life, but lived apart most of the time, amidst rumours that he was an invert.

"The Christian (1911): Australian silent film directed by Franklyn Barrett based on the story by Hall Caine.
Clergyman John Storm is doing mission work in the slums of London when he meets Glory, a girl from the country, who has been persuaded by Lord Robert Ure to seek a career on the stage. Storm tries to persuade Glory not to do it but she refuses. He then asks Lord Ure, which so infuriates him he sends someone to burn down Storm's mission hall. Storm is unconscious inside but he is rescued at the last minute. He goes to see Glory, determined to save her soul, by killing her if need be. But he comes to his senses and the two of them are married." (Wikipedia) (First movie role for Roy Redgrave (father of Michael, grandfathher of Vanessa and Lynne) as John Storm.)

The Christian (1923):

Producer: Kike Szmuel Gelbfisz / Samuel Goldwyn
Writer: Kike Paul Levy / Paul Bern
Director: Maurice Thomas / Maurice Tourneur
Glory: Mae Busch


Londonderry Argyle Terrace Gasmasks




Conrad Black: A historic settlement for a long-bloodied Ukraine

Conrad Black, National Post, February 21, 2014

The dramatic violence in Ukraine represents a seismic shift between the West and Eastern Europe: a true clash between civilizations.

Ukraine has never been a homogeneous country; it was born of an uneasy congeries of Mongols, Lithuanians, and Poles in the 14th Century, which eventually led to the pre-eminence of the Poles. In the 17th century, most Ukrainians turned to Moscow for assistance, and after the partitions of Poland between the Prussians, Austrian Empire, and Russia, what is now Ukraine was divided in 1795 between Austria and, mainly, Russia. After World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution, there were civil wars in Ukraine, in Russia, and a war between an independent Ukraine, generally recognized in the West, and the emergent Soviet Union. Ukraine was crushed by the Red Army, and for good measure, Stalin engaged in mass repressions of Ukrainian culture and intellectuals, and millions of Ukrainian small farmers were starved to death in the infamous Holodomor, the slaughter of the Kulaks, in the 1930s. It was not surprising that many Ukrainians warmly welcomed the German invasion of 1941, until they got a clear view of the Gestapo in action.

Ukraine president announces early elections, promises coalition government after clashes

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Friday announced early presidential elections and promised to bring opposition members into the government in a bid to defuse a deep crisis in which scores have been killed and hundreds injured.

He gave no time frame, however, and it’s unclear whether his belated concessions will be enough to hold off protesters who have occupied a piece of Kyiv and government buildings around the country in a nationwide battle over the identity of their country.

There was no immediate comment from opposition leaders, who were meeting among themselves after a marathon night of meetings with European diplomats.

No European country has had a more tragic history. Following the murder of 10% of the population in the 1930s, approximately a fifth of the survivors, about 7-million people, perished in World War II, including the massacre under Nazi occupiers of perhaps 90% of the Jews (who in the late 1920s had comprised 37% of the population of Odessa and 27% of the population of Kyiv, and are not 2% of the population of those cities today).

At the Teheran Conference of 1943, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin agreed that Soviet, i.e. Ukrainian, borders would be moved 200 miles to the west as a reward for the USSR’s 20-million deaths at the hands of the Nazi invaders. (As between the Big Three, the Soviet Union took over 90% of the casualties in subduing the Nazis.) As the Red Army was going to occupy the territory anyway, the Western Allied leaders overlooked the fact that the war only began with the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939, which partitioned Poland. Western leaders deftly plucked France, Italy, over 80% of Germany, as well as Japan, as occupied territory to be transformed by enlightened administration into flourishing democratic allies of the West in every case, while Stalin squatted improvidently and temporarily in Eastern Europe. Poland was compensated for the loss of 200 miles off its eastern border with a 200-mile western move of its western frontier at the expense of the Germans, 8- to 12-million of whom moved westward into the comparative civility of occupation by General Eisenhower’s Western Allied armies to escape the joys of Stalinist custody.

Crimea, the former Khanate of the Mongols, was transferred to Ukraine only in 1954. It naturally rankles with the Russians today that Moscow has to rent naval bases from Ukraine in the Crimea to dock its Black Sea fleet. And Ukraine, though it has a population of 46-million, (down from 52-million in 1994 due to emigration, and a falling life expectancy because of intense pollution, poor diet, heavy smoking, pandemic alcoholism, and inadequate medical care), is in all respects a fragile state.

All of European history since Augustan times two millennia ago has been a demarcation of Western and non-Western influences, a line that fell along the Rhine and the Danube then and generally remained there for 15 centuries. When pre-Reformation Christianity prevailed, the Turks were unable to seize Vienna or gain control of the Mediterranean, while the always-divided Germans were until relatively recently unsure whether they were an eastern or western-facing people.

Germany joined the West under the sponsorship of the post-WWII American occupiers, who, unlike the British, French, and Russians, were not afraid of a united Germany. They brought Germany into NATO as a respected ally, and enabled reunification as part of the American-led victory in the Cold War. The envelopment of Germany in the West was reinforced by the admission of Poland to NATO and the European Union, where it has been successful and has enjoyed the happiest years in its long and very disturbed history.

Almost every country that is not culturally and politically in the West has a continuous tension in its own population between nativists and Western emulators

Thus did the eastern border of the Western world arrive at the western edge of the Ukraine, independent since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, a status Moscow has never really accepted. About one third of the people in western Ukraine work or have relatives in the West. About 78% of Ukrainians are ethnic Ukrainians, to 17% Russians. About two thirds of the people speak principally Ukrainian, to about 30% who speak Russian; 75% of Ukrainians claim to believe in God, 22% are declared atheists, and of the believers, just under 40% are practising Christians, 71% in various branches of Eastern Orthodoxy and 17% as Roman Catholics. Ukraine has never really had a day of what anyone in the West would call good government. (But the same is not true of Ukrainian immigrants to Canada. With 1.2 million people of Ukrainian ancestry, we have the third largest Ukrainian-originated population in the world after the Ukraine itself and Russia.)

Almost every country that is not culturally and politically in the West has a continuous tension in its own population between nativists and Western emulators, most markedly in Russia, but also in such important countries as Turkey and India. Vladimir Putin is playing the Tolstoyan, Solzhenitsyan, nativist anti-Western card in Russia, railing against the West and pretending that Mother Russia was not shorn of its arms and legs and more than half its population at the demise of the Communist dictatorship he served.

Viktor Yanukovich, the pro-Russian president of the Ukraine, won election four years ago only because the leader thrown up by the democratic Orange Revolution, Viktor Yushchenko, split the vote and narrowly denied victory to the glamorous former prime minister, Yulia Timoshenko, whom Yanukovich put in prison (where she has remained despite widespread protest and a serious illness), as he has raped the democratic constitution. (Yanukovich was no eagle scout in his youth, having been convicted of theft and vandalism, though in a profoundly suspect justice system.)

Having negotiated a treaty of close co-operation with the European Union, whose prosperity and freedom are much more attractive to most Ukrainians than the Russian alternative, Yanukovich, under pressure from Putin, executed a 180-degree turn. Putin, (whose popularity at the Sochi Olympics was clearly not very heartfelt, despite his undoubted success in bringing the games off with great showmanship and in perfect security, albeit with profligate extravagance), has backed Yanukovich. Most Ukrainians clearly oppose their government, now reduced to firing grenades and machine-gunning demonstrators, killing more than 50 of them in Kyiv on Thursday alone.

Stephen Harper and President Obama were right to condemn Yanukovich and threaten sanctions, ahead of Europe. Germany, now Europe’s preeminent power again, is the key. Chancellor Angela Merkel has led Europe into a sanctions policy and has warned Putin — who finally retreated on Friday after the Ukrainian parliament censured Yanukovich; and the military command, as generally happens, refused to fire live ammunition at civilians representing a popular majority. At time of writing, Yanukovich has pledged early elections, a new constitution not redacted by himself, release of Ms. Timoshenko and a transitional coalition government.

This is a great victory for the West, and for an altruistic Germany over Putin’s gangster regime in a truncated country. And it is a victory of Western principles over the fatuous urge to appeasement of the professional Europeans, exemplified by former Italian premier Romano Prodi, who last week in the New York Times, blamed much of the violence on extremists among the protesters, credited Yanukovich with having, for a time, been an exemplar of “democracy at its best,” and urged discussions with Putin to “restart … integrating the Ukraine into the rest of Europe,” as if that were not precisely what Putin was determined to prevent.

The Ukrainian drama is an important part of a much greater contest. The West must always resist oppression, and must now embrace and assist its friends in Ukraine, not only from compassion for them, but to bring closer the adherence of Holy Mother Russia to the West and to stretch the West from the Americas across the Eurasian land mass to the Far East and Australasia.

Nothing less is at stake. And led by Germany for the first time as Europe’s greatest power on the progressive side of international affairs, the West, however unstable the present compromise in Ukraine, has won a great humanitarian victory in the carnage of the streets of Kyiv.

Comments for this thread are now closed.

Lorene Shyba • Good article and especially the details regarding the Polish-Ukrainian border shift as a result of the Nazi-Soviet Pact. However, I believe he is misinformed regarding Ukrainian religious affiliations, as the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is not even mentioned. It is not a branch of Orthodoxy and has over three times the number of parishes and clergy as does the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine. Many Ukrainian-Canadians are still practicing Ukrainian Greek Catholics and we have actively supported the EuroMaiden protests in many ways including monetarily and even video contributions such as this poem set to images and sound.

snowy • I have spoken to several ukranians (friends and people I know). Interesting to see their response to the riots. Essentially breaks down to Real Ukranians and wannabe Ukranians. The real Ukranians are the ones born and raised in Ukraine and support the protestors. The Wannabe Ukranians who are against the demonstrations are really Russians who moved to Ukraine or whose families were moved to Ukraine to dilute the real Ukrainians. Just be aware you know who you are talking to and what their background is.

truthieness • Live feed from Independence Square is available at

mrbuddhafreak • The truth would be better than truthiness. I'll pass on your propaganda site...unless they're showing boobies, the only positive thing the group has done.

truthieness • Femen activist's pictures are on a "dangerous" list found in Yanukovych's abandoned residence. They are the original protesters, and unlike some on "the street" in Kiev, they will not be hijacked by hard right extremists.

lyt • Well Conrad, you gonna be digging into your wallet to buy Ukraine natural gas going forward? I think not and I'm afraid Ukrainians weren't doing much thinking either when they overthrew the government. The EU is not going to buy them natural gas next winter either. This was colossal stupidity led by a punch drunk boxer.
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mnfamd • Ukraine distilled. Deftly sluiced by Mr. Black- in fact, a masterly revolutionary painting in words. Thank you.

rugolin • Thank Mr Black for the excellent column that hits the nail on the head. This is a great victory for the West like Lepanto or the Siege of Vienna. The people of Ukraine have rebelled against Russian despotism, imperialism and colonialism and chosen the Enlightenment of the Western World. Democracy is not perfect but it is better than whatever anybody else is selling no matter what the anti Western demagogues here in Canada or anywhere else says.

Slavophile • Black's misrepresentation of history is simply brutal. He writes that Ukraine "was born of an uneasy congeries of Mongols, Lithuanians, and Poles in the 14th Century, which eventually led to the pre-eminence of the Poles." It's hard to know if he meant to write "uneasy congeries" or "uneasy congress". Is Terry Corcoran the editor for Black's column? Anyway, if one wants to try to deduce some sort of meaning from this, presumably Black considers the medieval state of Galicia-Volhynia, in what is now Western Ukraine, as the first Ukrainian state. In 1303, the state had a metropolinate established within its borders at Halych. allthough Galicia-Volhynia was established much earlier, in 1199. It is surely grossly misleading, though, to speak of this state as an independent Ukrainian state that disappeared through partition like the independent Polish state. Neither the rulers nor the people of Galicia-Volhynia called themselves Ukrainians at that time. The Ukrainians only really started thinking of themselves as such in the early 19th century. On November 1, 1918, the West Ukrainian National Republic was proclaimed. No Ukrainian state had ever been proclaimed before that and enduring independence didn't arrive until 1991. The crude language data that Black gives exaggerate the language split in Ukraine. Most Ukrainophones in Ukraine also speak Russian, just as most Russophones also speak Ukrainian. Andrew Baldwin

Oleg •This article is a lie. Ukrain never been settled by Poles,Lithuanians or Mongolians. Kiev was an ancient capital of Russian people's. This looks like one of numerous western propogand. You do not know history, my friends - do not write any articles like this. Crimea itself was obtained by Russia after general Suvorov defeated Otoman Turks and it was given away to Ukrain by Khrushchev Even now this region of Ukrain count the self Russians and speak only Russian All eastern part of Ukrain is against this stupid riot. Do not even think you know Ukrain and can judge what is going on over there.

Orbiting Moon • Currently, Russia operates as a dictatorship under Putin. He dreams of reconstituting a modern Russian empire with himself at the helm. Who in the Ukraine would not want an authentic independent democracy instead of living under Russian hegemony? Try watching the CBC documentary:

lingosteve • I suggest Conrad Black look a little closer at some of the darker anti-democratic elements that are amongst the most active elements amongst the anti-government forces. I hope this does not become another Yugoslavia.

ajb • This is a well-written, and very insightful article. Europe and even North America have a lot at stake in helping ensure that peace, democracy and the rule of law be given the chance to find fertile ground in Ukraine. More importantly, Ukrainians do too, which is why the students in Kiev, and many other Ukrainians fought for it.

lazylarry • this story is nothing but propoganda, why is the west pleased because that is what the u.s. and the e.u. ..nato want, to over throw their government and replace it with a west sympathetic one, one that will bend to the will of the u.s. and e.u. The e.u. is corrupt ogranization and has been at the keels of the protests in iraq,syria libya venezuala, bengahzi etc. What do you think would happen here if everyone took to the streets started burning everything and turning violent do you not think the police would come out in full force and start arresting protestors and bring in the army, what happened during the g20 or vancouver riot, news in this country and the u.s. is nothing but propoganda not the truth. Half the country of the ukraine are russian and are not demanding an e.u. fix. This whole mess is nothing more than western interference, the e.u. is broke why do you think they brought in the bank bail ins where all your money is conviscated. nato wants to control the world and will do whatever it takes to get that, next is venezuala ...oh they must bring democracy to venezuala now, how is this democracy..ask the syrians who are dying of starvation just how glad they are the u.s. and the e.u. brought them democracy. it makes me sick how people believe whatever they are told do you not see or learn from history. Pathetic.

David W. Lincoln • Closer ties with the EU. Are you sure that the is best route forward for any country? When you have Iceland withdrawing its papers filed with Brussels to join the EU, I suggest there is more going on than what some would have us see.

Ottawa MensCentre • Conrad has lots of subjects that he can and should write on where he can really offer some insight. Ukraine is not one of them. This article appears to be taken from wikipedia

Orbiting Moon • "This article appears to be taken from Wikipedia …" Is that such a bad thing? You have a better source?

Anonalong • The 2012 Eurocup, held jointly in Poland and Ukraine, brought huge numbers of western Europeans, and many from other parts of the world, to Ukraine. They opened the eyes of many Ukrainians to the prosperity, freedoms, and business opportunities, of the west. The uprisings in Ukraine now are in part the result of the experience and knowledge Ukrainians gained from that soccer tournament.

lyt • Half the Ukrainians want a return to Communist government. The other half doesn't. Half the Russians want a return to the old Communist ways. Shooting people, burning down buildings, overthrowing elected officials is not the way to resolve these differences.

ivanhoemy • Both the vast majority of those that live in Russia and Ukraine never want to go back to the day's of communism. The real issue is that they see the west for what it really is a self indulgent morally corrupt society that gives lip service to rights and freedoms of people then tries its best to take economic advantage of everyone. Sure, young people may long for higher employment rates and better incomes and a better life. But the reality is that western governments and corporations are seen as trying to subjugate the Ukraine as a vassal state for them to use a cheep labour and dump products into and that is were the opposition to the west is coming from. Sure the pro western forces are often Nationalist and socialists who feel it is their right as anarchists to toss the whole state into disarray, but it is time we actually Jaw, Jaw ac Churchill stated over War , War. violence only begets violence and the western anarchists are the ones that are sparking it.

lyt ivanhoemy • Huh? dump products into the Ukraine? some vast conspiracy? And I'm disconnected from reality? Like Sargeant Shultz, "you know nothing".

lazylarry lyt • the only ones burning down buildings and looting are the militant led protestors egged on by the u.s. and e.u. just ask the syrians

maths1 • Another masterpiece of historic planetary knowledge from Conrad Black, leaving us better informed of the Ukraine struggle for freedom. Arnold Guetta, mathematician

Dire Wolf • Putin may be a gangster, and he may run a semi-criminal government, but he understands better than Conrad Black the Russian need for a buffer against Western invaders intent on dominating Europe and/or the world.

zuglo1 • It's time to kick the gangsters all the way back to Moscow.

bufny1 • In 1992, because of growing nationalist tensions in the government, Czechoslovakia was peacefully divided by parliament. On 1 January 1993 it formally separated into two independent countries: the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Since the western part of Ukraine wants closer ties to the West and the eastern part wants to maintain closer ties to Russia than why not divide Ukraine the same way?

Anonalong • From Wikipedia: "Within Ukraine itself, the UGCC is a minority faith of the religious population, being a distant second to the majority Eastern Orthodoxfaith. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is the second largest religious organization in Ukraine in terms of number of communities. In terms of number of faithful, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church ranks third in allegiance among the population of Ukraine, after the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate. Currently, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church predominates in three western oblasts of Ukraine, but constitutes a small minority elsewhere in the country."

Justus • You will join the EU and you will become hopelessly indebted to their central bank period. Voting will not be allowed, you will be forced into it so that you can take on more debt than you ever thought possible. Taking over the world with debt one country at a time. Ukraine, you're up.

JJRoss • Ukraine will certainly face a difficult future. With the EU as a partner there is hope and prosperity, Poland after a difficult period is doing very well. With Russia as a partner there is only the prospect of being an occupied state. $15 billion in "loans" from Russia is not a gift, it is a trap!

mrbuddhafreak • If kept out of ever-imperialist Russia, Ukraine can move on beyond its current problems. If they fall prey to the Russian bear, the 21st century could wind up being the 20th replayed.

fred • So you want the Ukraine to become the new Greece.

mrbuddhafreak • No, I don't want them to get trapped in the old USSR. If they stay out from the Russian heel, they stand a chance of being economically successful and free...neither of which will happen under the Russians.

James Knoop • Thank you Conrad Black putting the headlines into a historical context. It is refreshing to think about current events in a broader context and to put aside the shock and awe headlines. Since the end of the Bush era, the United States and the West has generally been promoting a non-agressive approach to democratic expansion, which I think doesn't reflect weakness but rather a more intelligent pragmatic approach to foreign policy. This issue is another litmus test for the democratic advance...Pity the policy makers who have to deal with this mess.

ZorroIsGod • the grand poo-bar the lord of jail yard has some majestic words.

Leduc County West • Morbidly obese paragraphy from a fellow who loves to be seen and heard, but abhors fundamental clarity. The Kim Kardashian of ideas.

LeahYoung • I wonder how ill Yulio Timoshenko is...especially after being in prison for ten years.

Sameold • She's fine as she is now out after 2 years ( and was in a hospital but seems to have had a miraculous recover). But now she is free to move to London, buy a 100 million dollar house and enjoy they 3 billion she miracoulsly managed to obtain as a people person....

mrbuddhafreak • An independent Ukraine associated with Europe stands a chance of improving the lives of its people. A puppet state ruled by Russian hands will become a permanent economic and social backwater.

MikeMurphy • Having lived in the west and north of Canada, I have had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with many of the Ukrainian immigrants who have helped build this country of ours.

gnsr • Conrad believes in fighting oppression as long as it isn't Israeli oppression.


Most Crimeans must not be listening to the BBC or reading The Guardian/Telegraph/NYT/WaPo/etc. They aren't aware that the new regime in Kiev is democratic, peaceful, competent. They seem to think that Hitler is in charge.

Crimea vows to resist Ukraine’s ‘anti-Russian’ revolution

Russians and Tatars plan rival rallies as local parliament holds special session today

By Daniel McLaughlin, The Irish Times, Feb 26, 2014

“There’s no Maidan here,” said Vitaly, a young waiter in a restaurant in Simferopol, capital of Crimea. “A few people tried it, but it didn’t catch on.”

“Maidan” is the Ukrainian name for both Independence Square in Kiev and the protest movement centred there that toppled President Viktor Yanukovich and his government.

Maidan and other squares across central and western Ukraine have for months been full of people Vitaly’s age, who were were sick of the corruption, greed and thuggery that Yanukovich came to embody. Now they are celebrating a revolution that they hope will transform their country.

Ukraine urges Russia not to promote separatism

“It’s not like that here,” Vitaly explained. “I am against Maidan and in favour of Russia. And most of Crimea thinks like me.”

Many people living on this Black Sea peninsula, twice the size of Northern Ireland, agree with Moscow’s assertion that Ukraine’s revolutionaries are violent, western-backed ultra-nationalists who intend to crush the rights of Russian-speakers and curtail Crimea’s links with Russia itself.

This autonomous region and its restive ethnic-Russian majority are a major concern for Ukraine’s new rulers, who fear the Kremlin may intervene to “protect” people here and to ensure continued control over its Black Sea naval fleet based in the port of Sevastopol. Two armoured personnel carriers were parked near the base yesterday.

It is to Crimea that Yanukovich fled when his presidency collapsed, and officials say he was last seen on Sunday night near Balaclava, less than 20km from Sevastopol.

Demand for action

Today, Crimea’s parliament in Simferopol plans to hold a special session to discuss Ukraine’s crisis, and hundreds of people rallied outside the assembly last night to demand that their leaders take radical action. Waving Russian and Crimean flags, some called for a referendum on independence, others for union with Russia.

As the crowd chanted “Russia, Russia!” and “Crimea – rise up!”, the speaker of the parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, came out to address them.

“I share your alarm and worry over Crimea’s fate . . . We will fight for our autonomous republic to the end,” he said.

“Today Kiev doesn’t want to solve our problems, therefore we must unite and act decisively. The people of Crimea have enough strength. Neo-Nazism will not work in Crimea. We will not betray Crimea.”

Many protesters wore orange-and-black ribbons that are now a symbol of opposition to the Maidan movement. They are inspired by the Russian military’s St George’s Ribbon, which is associated with the Red Army’s victory over the Nazis in the second World War.

“We are Russian and we should join with Russia, our historic home,” said one young protester, Andrei, who was wearing the emblem. “We have never really been part of Ukraine, and the new authorities in Kiev do not represent us. More than that – they are dangerous for us.”

Like many people here, he sees today’s revolutionaries as heirs of guerrillas in western Ukraine who sometimes fought alongside the Nazis in their bid to create an independent state.

Many Crimeans’ fear of the new administration in Kiev was only intensified by a weekend decision by parliament to quash a 2012 law that boosted the status of the Russian language in parts of Ukraine where it is widely spoken.

‘One language’

“Why try to force people to speak only one language – Ukrainian?” said Olga, a teacher in Simferopol, recalling how Crimea was part of Russia from the late 18th century until 1954, when Soviet leaders made it part of Ukrainian territory.

“It shows no respect for our culture and tradition,” she added.

Many Russian-speakers worry that Ukraine’s new government will be pulled to the right by ultra-nationalist groups that played a major role in the protests.

Russian officials have warned that Ukraine’s political upheaval represents a threat to its citizens in Ukraine, many of whom live in Crimea. Moscow says it went to war with Georgia in 2008 to protect its passport-holders there.

“If the lives and health of our compatriots are in danger . . . we won’t stay to one side,” Leonid Slutsky, who leads Russia’s parliamentary committee on ties with ex-Soviet states, said yesterday in Simferopol.

The city could be a flashpoint today, with anti-Maidan protesters planning a rally outside parliament and pro-revolution Crimean Tatars intending to oppose them. The Tatars suffered severe oppression during Soviet times, and reject closer ties with Moscow.

“We were with the opposition all the way, our people were injured in Kiev,” said activist Zair Smedlyaev, as dozens of Tatars gathered outside their headquarters in Simferopol.

“The riot police who attacked and killed people in Kiev are being protected and praised here,” he added.

“We have kicked out one dictator and now Crimea’s leaders want to drag our native land into a Russian dictatorship. We will not let that happen.”


Ukraine Pledges to Protect Deposits as Kiev Rally Called

By Volodymyr Verbyany and Daryna Krasnolutska,, Feb 26, 2014

[Photo: Customers queue to withdraw hyrvnia currency from an automated teller machine (ATM)]

Ukraine is weighing measures to stem cash withdrawals after as much as 7 percent of deposits were taken from banks during last week’s bloody uprising, underscoring the need for action to fend off a default.

Withdrawals peaked with as much as 30 billion hryvnias ($3.1 billion) Feb. 18-20 as police and anti-government demonstrators fought in the center of Kiev, Natsionalnyi Bank Ukrainy Governor Stepan Kubiv, 51, said in his first interview since being appointed Feb. 24.

A rally will be held on Independence Square this evening as lawmakers seek to install a new government. The interim administration is trying to secure as much as $35 billion in financial aid to fend off a possible default. Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov yesterday pushed back a parliamentary vote on the formation of a new administration to Feb. 27 after indicating that a new administration should be formed quickly.

“Ukraine’s economy needs rescue and that adds pressure on the revolutionary political forces to create a truly national unity government,” said Lilit Gevorgyan, senior economist at IHS Global Insight in London, said by e-mail. “The large bailout plan that Ukraine currently seeks won’t be handed out by international donors to a weak and non-inclusive government.”

Outflows from banks slowed in western and central Ukraine and Kiev as European foreign ministers last week negotiated a pact to end the violence, Kubiv said near the central bank, about 500 meters (1,641 feet) from the main protest venue, Independence Square. Withdrawals remained high in the country’s east amid concerns over tensions with neighbor Russia. Kubiv estimated total deposits at about 430 billion hryvnia.

Hryvnia Drops

The hryvnia, which is managed by the central bank, lost 6.4 percent to 9.800 per dollar at 6:07 p.m. in Kiev yesterday, extending its slump this year to 16 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The yield on the government’s dollar bonds maturing in April 2023 climbed 30 basis points to 9.56 percent, after falling 211 basis points in the last three days.

The currency may strengthen once “a new government is formed as it announces a clear stabilization program and international aid is provided,” Kubiv said.

The central bank plans to provide “stabilizing loans” to five banks, Kubiv said, without providing details. Central bank reserves declined to about $15 billion from $17.8 billion at the end of January as the regulator spent dollars to arrest the hryvnia’s decline, he said.

Financial Lifeline

With former President Viktor Yanukovych on the run, Ukraine’s new leaders are grasping for a financial lifeline as Russia weighs the fate of a $15 billion bailout it granted in December. Russia’s deputy finance minister said there’s a high chance Ukraine will default. The U.S. and the European Union have pledged aid to the new administration.

The International Monetary Fund will probably send a team to Ukraine as soon as the country seeks financial aid, Managing Director Christine Lagarde told Stanford University students yesterday in California.

“We are ready to engage,” Lagarde said. “We will probably shortly send some technical assistance support to the country because this is our duty to a member, if that member asks,” which is “clearly what is likely to happen.”

Default Risk

The new government should be largely technocratic and should avoid “political quotas,” said Oleksiy Haran, a member of the Maidan Council, which represents the protesters whose three-month campaign toppled Yanukovych.

The Maidan Council called a rally for 7 p.m. today, where activists will discuss proposals for potential government members.

Ukraine risks default without “significantly favorable changes” in its political crisis, Standard & Poor’s said Feb. 21 as it cut the nation’s credit rating to CCC, leaving it eight levels short of investment grade.

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak yesterday echoed those concerns. Russia won’t be the party to declare default, though it’s under no legal obligation to disburse the remaining $12 billion of the bailout, he told reporters in Moscow.

Lawmakers moved quickly to appoint Kubiv, the ex-chairman of Lviv-based VAT Kredobank, to head the central bank after voting out Ihor Sorkin. Kubiv plans to invite an IMF mission, the Unian news service reported, without giving details. The central bank imposed capital controls this month to stem the hryvnia’s slide.

Creditor Talks

“Talks are being held with all possible creditors,” Kubiv said on the website of his party, Batkivshchyna. “We’re in talks with the IMF on changing the investment climate so investors come to Ukraine and believe in stability.”

As well as securing aid, politicians in Kiev want to determine Yanukovych’s whereabouts to arrest him on murder charges. Lawmakers yesterday asked the International Criminal Court in the Hague to punish officials for crimes against humanity after more than 80 protesters and police officers died in riots.

Andriy Klyuyev, a former aide to Yanukovych, has been hospitalized with a gunshot wound, his spokesman Artem Petrenko said by phone. Klyuyev is probably in Kiev, according to Petrenko, who said the injury isn’t life-threatening.

Events in Kiev are unsettling residents in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east and south. In the city of Simferopol in Crimea, crowds gathered outside the regional parliament demanding its speaker denounce the new authorities in the capital and weigh a referendum on possible adhesion to Russia.

Russia, which maintains a naval base in Crimea, vowed not to meddle in Ukraine’s affairs and urged the West to follow suit. Concern in Russia that the EU is prying in Ukraine’s sovereign affairs is wide of the mark, according to Catherine Ashton, the the 28-member bloc’s foreign-policy chief.

“We offer support, not interference,” she said yesterday in Kiev. “It’s very simple -- we want to support and help this country to be strong.”


Ukraine leader warns of separatism threat amid fears over Crimea

By Howard Amos in Sevastopol and Shaun Walker in Kiev, The Guardian, 25 February 2014

Ukraine's interim president warned on Tuesday that the country faced a serious threat from separatism.


"We discussed the question of not allowing any signs of separatism and threats to Ukraine's territorial integrity and punishing people guilty of this," Olexander Turchynov said after meeting key officials.

The government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea should organize a referendum as soon as possible on the matter of
  • Crimea declaring independence as a sovereign state
  • Crimea seeking union with the Russian Federation
  • Crimea seeking to become a constituent part of the Russian Federation

Whether the ARC becomes a sovereign state or becomes part of the Russian Federation, the majority of citizens of Sevastopol Municipality would obviously vote to join up with the rest of Crimea. The weak, leaderless and divided regime in Kiev will of course not be able to effectively intervene.

It is obvious what the response of the Ukrainian "leadership" would be to the devolution of Quebec from Canada or of Scotland from the UK: bloody military assaults and police crackdowns, the arrest of anyone advocating devolution, and the summary execution of any unrepentant leaders of independence movements.


The Russian Stronghold in Ukraine Preparing to Fight the Revolution

Lawmakers and worried citizens in the pro-Russia Crimea consider their options

By [Kike] Simon Shuster / Sevastopol @shustry

Time, Feb. 23, 20144

[Photo: "A Ukrainian woman holds a Soviet flag during a rally in the industrial city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, on Feb. 22, 2014"]

The busload of officers only began to feel safe when they entered the Crimean peninsula. Through the night on Friday, they drove the length of Ukraine from north to south, having abandoned the capital city of Kiev to the revolution. Along the way the protesters in several towns pelted their bus with eggs, rocks and, at one point, what looked to be blood before the retreating officers realized it was only ketchup. “People were screaming, cursing at us,” recalls one of the policemen, Vlad Roditelev.

Finally, on Saturday morning, the bus reached the refuge of Crimea, the only chunk of Ukraine where the revolution has failed to take hold. Connected to the mainland by two narrow passes, this huge peninsula on the Black Sea has long been a land apart, an island of Russian nationalism in a nation drifting toward Europe. One of its biggest cities, Sevastopol, is home to a Russian naval base that houses around 25,000 troops, and most Crimean residents identify themselves as Russians, not Ukrainians.

So when the forces of the revolution took over the national parliament on Friday, pledging to rid Ukraine of Russian influence and integrate with Europe, the people of Crimea panicked. Some began to form militias, others sent distress calls to the Kremlin. And if the officers of the Berkut riot police are now despised throughout the rest of the country for killing dozens of protesters in Kiev this week, they were welcomed in Crimea as heroes.

For Ukraine’s revolutionary leaders, that presents an urgent problem. In a matter of days, their sympathizers managed to seize nearly the entire country, including some of the most staunchly pro-Russian regions of eastern Ukraine. But they have made barely any headway on the Crimean peninsula. On the contrary, the revolution has given the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea their best chance ever to break away from Kiev’s rule and come back under the control of Russia. “An opportunity like this has never come along,” says Tatyana Yermakova, the head of the Russian Community of Sevastopol, a civil-society group in Crimea.

On Wednesday, just as the violence in Kiev was reaching its cadence, Yermakova sent an appeal to the Kremlin asking Russia to send in troops to “prevent a genocide of the Russian population of Crimea.” The revolution, she wrote in a missive to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is being carried out by mercenaries with funding from Europe and the United States “with only one goal in mind: the destruction of the Russian world.”

Though the Kremlin has not yet responded to her plea for help, Russia used a similar appeal as a pretext for the land invasion of South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia, in 2008. That August, Russia claimed that the people of South Ossetia were at risk of genocide when the Georgian military tried to take control of the rebel region by force. Russia responded by sending in its tanks, and after a weeklong war, it seized a fifth of Georgia’s territory, including all of South Ossetia.

On Saturday afternoon in Crimea, around 3,000 ethnic Russians came out to appeal for the protection of Moscow at a demonstration in the main square of Sevastopol, a short walk from the warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. “There isn’t even any need for Russia to invade,” Yermakova, who organized the demonstration, told TIME on the square. “They are already right here.”

Earlier that day, a senior delegation of Russian diplomats arrived in Ukraine to assess their options. In the eastern city of Kharkiv, they met with about 3,000 local and municipal officials from the deposed government, all of them from the pro-Russian regions of eastern and southern Ukraine. The deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, who had fled to Kharkiv from Kiev earlier that day, did not attend. Together, pro-Russian Ukrainian officials and the Russian delegation passed a resolution denouncing the revolutionary leaders as “extremists and terrorists.”

Vadim Kolesnichenko, a member of parliament from Crimea and one of Ukraine’s most staunchly pro-Russian politicians, read out the resolution to the delegates. “The cohesion and security of Ukraine is under threat,” he said. “Five atomic power stations and 15 nuclear reactors have come under direct threat from extremists and terrorists.” As long as the revolutionaries refuse to lay down their arms and surrender government buildings, the local authorities in Crimea and eastern Ukraine will ignore all their decisions and “take responsibility for maintaining constitutional order on themselves.”

The document amounted to a secession; at the very least, it marked a total rejection of the revolutionary government’s legitimacy. Alexei Pushkov, the most senior Russian delegate at that summit, wrote on his Twitter feed: “There is not a gram of separatism at the summit in Kharkiv. The main point of the statements is that we do not intend to split up the country. We want to preserve it.” In his next post, he added, “A summit took place here of five [Ukrainian] regions against violence, chaos and collapse.”

The part of the summit’s resolution that will worry the West, however, was its call for citizens to form militias in Crimea and eastern Ukraine “in cooperation with the regional security structures.” On the eve of Saturday’s summit, Kolesnichenko, the Crimean lawmaker, suggested that such militias were needed to resist what he characterized as a “fascist rebellion prepared by Western instructors.” In an interview with Russia’s state-run paper of record on Friday, he posed a rhetorical question: “If I were to tell you that after the opposition comes to power … Nazi terrorist groups will appear on the border with Russia, would you believe me?”

Many of the people at the rally in Sevastopol were not just ready to believe. They were convinced of the imminent nationalist invasion. What scared them most were the right-wing political parties and militant groups that have played a role in Ukraine’s revolution. “What do you think they’re going to do with all those weapons they seized from police in Kiev? They’re going to come here and make war,” said Sergei Bochenko, who identified himself as the commander of a local militia group in Sevastopol called the Southern Russian Cossack Battalion.

In preparation, he said, his group of several hundred men had armed themselves with assault rifles and begun to train for battle. “There’s not a chance in hell we’re going to accept the rule of that fascist scum running around in Kiev with swastikas,” he said. That may be overstating the case. Nowhere in Ukraine has the uprising involved neo-Nazi groups, and no swastikas have appeared on the revolution’s insignia. But every one of the dozen or so people TIME spoke to in Sevastopol was certain that the revolt was run by fascists, most likely on the payroll of the U.S. State Department. That message has long been propagated in Russian state-run media, which millions of people in Crimea and eastern Ukraine rely on for information.

As the sun began to set over the rally in Sevastopol, word spread through the crowd of several thousand people that the bus full of officers had finally entered the city on their long drive back from Kiev. It carried about two dozen men, a mix of Interior Ministry guards and Berkut riot troops, who had been called to the capital in December to fight the revolutionaries. As they pulled onto the square, the crowd surged forward and surrounded them, carrying red carnations, pushing boxes of cookies and cakes toward them, holding babies in the air and cheering.

Either out of fear or shame, the uniformed officers who emerged from the bus were not yet ready to remove the balaclavas from their faces. But even though only their eyes were visible, their friends, wives and mothers were able to recognize them, and the crowd began to chant in celebration, “The Berkut are heroes! Glory to the heroes!” Still filthy and exhausted from the clashes in Kiev, the men found it hard to accept such a welcome. They were returning as failures, after all, from their mission to stop the revolt. So when Marina Pshenichnaya found her nephew Denis among the troops, he leaned into her embrace and said, “I’m sorry. We’re sorry we couldn’t protect you.”

It wasn’t really their fault. Only the previous day, the policeman Roditelev, a 21-year-old native of Sevastopol, was part of the detachment guarding the Interior Ministry in Kiev, one of the last government buildings in the capital still under government control on Friday. But as night fell, a final set of orders came down from their commanding officers: Abandon your posts. The armory inside the building was still full of pistols and assault rifles at the time. “And we just left it all behind,” Roditelev says. “Now the fascists have it, and they’re not going to stop.” His first aim upon returning home was to take a bath, the first in many weeks, and spend some time with his parents. After that, he says, he plans to join up with one of the militia groups and prepare for the arrival of the revolutionary forces. “We just have to defend our own city now,” he says. “The country is lost.” Russia, he feels certain, would come to help them.


vitoivan66: Tatars in Crimea invaded Crimea centuries ago with Turkish backing...therefore they should have not been allowed to return to Crimea...they are cancer of Crimea...Russia took and made a christian land ..we all should be thankful to them..but today politics is run by people who despise Jesus Christ..and we all know who they are..but you dare not say their names ortherwise you would be instantly labelled anti-se***

bryushchenko: Oleh Tyahnybok, who is one of the leaders of the Ukrainian revolution, is a notorious anti-semite and a leader of the far-right Svoboda - former Social-National Party of Ukraine that used to have a modified swastika on its banner. So, it's not all Communist propaganda, there are real neonazis in the new Ukrainian government.

londonfredd: This was simply a demonstration for visa-free travel to the West that got out of hand. I wonder whether the same western citizens will happilly welcome the ukrainers to their countries like they did the romanians. Remember Ukraine is a very poor country without Russia. All they have is agriculture but will they live on sugar alone? Well let's hope for an EU bailout

TAHKICT: It is the Tatars who should decide the fate of Krym, not the Russians or the Russian speaking population. After all it was their land before various Russian regimes exterminated and forcefully resettled them.

Gen Petrov: If not that Hrushev deception of Soviet Union, you would never get paid for transition of Russian gas to European consumers now, you would not be able to keep your houses warm and you would actually starve now. Well, not you, but most of Ukrainians. Surely many of them want to leave the country and live in the US. There is nothing to do in Ukraine, no jobs, only democracy.

eth-nargy: Hmm, I could go beyond that parts of Eastern Ukraine were part of Russia too, until Lenin redrew the maps. As for Western Ukraine most of that was part of Poland & a small chunk belonged to Hungary and before that the Hapsburg Empire. Until 1941. It's ironic that the Bolsheviks & Stalin in particular, did more than anyone to advance the cause of a ''united historical Ukraine''.

Gen Petrov: Ukraine for Ukrainians! Deutshland über alles! Heil Hitler!

eth-nargy: I think it's worth pointing out that Crimea was indeed part of Russia until Krushchev, re-drew the map of the Ukrainian SSR in the 1960's and gave Crimea to Ukraine as a ''gift''.

ridiculusmaximus: A lot of people in this discussion thread are talking about kicking people of their land, like if Russians want to leave Ukraine they should move back to Russia and keep Crimea Ukraine, or Crimea is Russian forever, or Ukrainians should leave Crimea. These are the kinds of thoughts that leads to war, deaths, and genocides. Ukrainians, Russians, Tartars, and everyone else deserves a right to live on the Crimea to the participate in its economics and politics fully and freely. Nationalism can lead to deaths. Haven't Europe had enough of it? Fighting for land and borders is the stupidest thing anyone can do. If Ukrainians are really serious about keeping Crimea a part of Ukraine, then they need to reach out to the Russians living there who really are terrified of Ukrainian nationalism. The real question is what has Ukraine done to deserve governing Crimea and the loyalties of the Russian population. Russians needs to stop calling Ukrainians fascists and Ukrainians need to stop treating Russians like unwanted migrants. They both have a right to live in the Crimea, Ukraine, Russia, or anywhere else on Earth. Reading this thread makes me realize the pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainians readers have something in common: you're both bigots, fear mongering, intolerant people. After reading this thread, I'm not sure Ukraine should join the EU, because I like to think Western Europe is a safe place for tolerant, open, multicultural societies. Why don't you guys start talking with each other, instead of to each other and past each other. There's so much room for cooperation, sharing, and compassion. I suppose lacking these is what makes threads like this fun. There are two ways to prevent genocides. One is to keep everyone apart so they don't have to make contact with each other. The other is to create a society where everyone can live together peacefully and happily. The first is purity where each country is for a specific people: Ukraine for Ukrainians, Russia for Russians, and so on. The second is to create a society where everyone can live together, where all countries belong to all peoples. We can live in a world where Ukrainians, Russians, Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and everyone else can be treated equally, be cared for, and help each other out.

billbear1961: Hands OFF Ukraine, Russian fascists! They want genuine, western-style freedom and are sick to death of being bullied by murderous Russian and pro-Russian THUGS!! The former gangster president is wanted for mass murder! Find and arrest the monster!! Stay OUT of Ukraine's affairs, Putin, you twisted TYRANT!

constantine: The US needs to move the 6th Fleet into the Strait of Kerch to preempt any Russian intervention into Crimea. If Russia wants to intervene they should be put in a position where their first strike has to be against the United States.

Mariya: Ukraine is actually very rich in various resources. It also has the richest most nutrient rich soil in the world making it an infinitely bankable agricultural epicenter. The fact that the country is bankrupt speaks about the insane level of corruption and theft among Ukrainian politicians.

jfrits: same welcome as for the scottish secessionists who throw off the english yoke to the surprise of arrogant limeys. then you socialist limey marxists will have to suck your own blood...

DidPanas: The Russians should have no voice in this.The Ukrainian cossacks, actually, invaded the Crimea, but no one is talking about it for some reason.

billbear1961: The Russians aren't "communists," anymore. Well, not many of them. Many--if not most--are right-wing thugs with no respect for freedom or equality or democratic rights, not even in RUSSIA. They are backwards and barbaric supporters of the ignorant, hateful, profoundly xenophobic and brutally vicious right-wing Russian Orthodox Church, backed by Putin and his fascist, robber baron gangsters, who are robbing Russia blind!

DidPanas: Do you think that the US forces could also help with the Rusyns in the Zakarpattia Oblast?

AndrewHvatumL If we are going to be fanciful it ought to be the Greeks (anatolians) who decide the fate of the area they were there before the tartars.

szay1: Russia DOES NOT own Crimea. It is owned by UKRAINE. Quit saying its Russian. P.s. its oldest surviving native population (the Tatars) should ultimately decide and they decided to stay with Ukraine.

Kike: Russia already has a military base in Crimea. IMO Russia can't do nothing unless the western Ukrainians try to stop Crimea from seceding, essentially a repeat of Ossetia. In other words, Ukraine can't stop Crimea if it decides to secede.



Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich is wanted by police for mass murder, the acting interior minister said on Monday on his Facebook profile.

“An official case for the mass murder of peaceful citizens has been opened,” Arsen Avakov wrote on his profile. “Yanukovich and other people responsible for this have been declared wanted,” he said.

Viktor Yanukovich was in the autonomous largely pro-Russian region of Crimea late on Sunday, travelling by car to an unknown destination, Avakov said on his Facebook profile.


Oleksandr Bryginets, a member of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland Party, claims on his Facebook page that the ousted president is hiding at a "well equiped" bunker inside a monastery in Donetsk


According the Ukrainian news agency Union, the ousted president is hiding at the russian [sic] Black Sea's [sic] naval base in Sevastopol where he should flee to Russia.

Yanukòvich (who is -- like all powerful and formerly powerful Ukrainian politicians -- a thug) has repeatedly said (through his spokesmen and women) that he will remain in "Ukraine". If he is now in the Russian naval base in Sevastopol Municipality, on territory leased to Russia until 2042, then he is still in "Ukraine", and there would be no need for him to "flee" to Russia. If he is in a Russian naval base then there os nothing the Ukrainian "protest government" or any Ukrainian police or military unit can do about it.

Source: euronews:


According to the Telegraph, autonomous politicians in the autonomous parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea are demanding autonomy!

"Tensions mounted in Crimea, in the south-east of Ukraine, where pro-Russian politicians are organising rallies and forming protest units, demanding autonomy from Kiev."


It's hilarious when the CBC bitch says to the Ugandan Negro,  "I'm sorry, I don't, I don't understand what you're saying."

As It Happens, 2014.02.24:

"Ugandan president signs anti-gay law allowing life sentences"

Ugandan Negroes vs Sodomy


CBC Bitch: [...] life sentences for people guilty of 'aggravated homosexuality'.


CBC Bitch: How can you justify calling people 'criminals' and sending them to jail for being gay?

Ugandan Ethics & Integrity Minister: Because they have destructive to society. The damage that these practice causes to the community, especially to the minors, the small children, whose lives get completely shut up, forever, because they can no longer be able to behave and conform to the laws of nature as they would.

CBC Bitch: I'm sorry, I don't, I don't understand what you're saying there, sir. How does this effect children?

Ugandan Ethics & Integrity Minister: These people always pick small children, below the age of sixteen, and they use them for practicizing their ugly things. Do you know that in a school, a primary school in Mbale sixty children were sodomized by a single teacher?

CBC Bitch: You're not saying that all homosexuals are pedophiles, are you?

Ugandan Ethics & Integrity Minister: Whatever you want to call them. For us they are outlawed, and they are not acceptable practice in Uganda. In fact, in my own personal culture and tribe, these people would be just killed there and then, if found jumping and sodomizing same sex.


Carol Off has been a host of CBC Radio's "As It Happens" since 2006. She also hosted the political debate series counterSpin on CBC Newsworld. She is the vice-president of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. She was awarded ACTRA's John Drainie Award in 2008, for "distinguished contributions to Canadian broadcasting." She has also written several books on the Canadian military, including The Lion, the Fox, and the Eagle and The Ghosts of Medak Pocket: the Story of Canada's Secret War. In 2006, she released a book, Bitter Chocolate, about the corruption and human rights abuses associated with the cocoa industry. She claimed that French-Canadian journalist Guy-André Kieffer, who was kidnapped in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire in 2004, had been murdered for exposing Ivorian government corruption in connection with cocoa.

As It Happens: It Gets Worse! 2014.02.24

Oldest known holocaust survivor dies aged 110. Concert pianist Alice Herz-Sommer was sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp when she was 39. And she used her music to survive. Ms Herz-Sommer died on Sunday aged 110. Canadian producer Frederic Bohbot has made an Oscar nominated short film about... [Listen 8:53]

It Gets Worse!: Uganda Gay Laws, Arizona Gay Laws, Harold Ramis Remembered

Ugandan president signs anti-gay law allowing life sentences: Being gay in Uganda is now more dangerous than ever. Today, the country's president, Yoweri Museveni, finalized legislation that would see those convicted of homosexuality imprisoned for life. Simon Lokodo, Ugandan cabinet minister, defends the law.

[Listen 28:38]


Heather Badenoch @HeatherBadenoch: What on EARTH is wrong with the Ugandan representative on @cbcasithappens?? Equating homoesexuality to pedophilia? #Ignorance

Cecile Haynes @cashaynes: My gawd, listening to the @cbcasithappens interview with the Ugandan minister re passing of the gay law made my blood boil.

As It Happens @cbcasithappens: Tonight's lead interview with #Uganda minister getting a lot of response. ICYMI: #LGBT

Lee Rose @thisLeeRose: Unbelievable interview on @cbcasithappens with Uganda's Minister of Ethics re: Legislation banning homosexuality.

lilly @SMarie_Dee: Listening to @cbcasithappens Interview with Ugandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity about new anti-gay laws. Frightening. Absolutely.

Terry Sutton @saltcod: Fantastic interview on @cbcasithappens about the new Ugandan anti-gay laws. Fight ignorance and hate with facts and tough questions.

As It Happens @cbcasithappens: Discrimination knows no borders: two interviews tonight on anti-gay legislation from around the world. #Uganda #Arizona

As It Happens, 2014.02.21:

"Nazi art claimant: With the seizure of dozens of works of art from a German collector, one woman is hopeful she'll once again see paintings that were taken from her grandfather."

Nazi Art Trove, Mossad Passport, South Africa Mine Arrests, The Sound Book, and more

As It Happens, February 17, 2014

A new trove of art suspected of being looted from its original owners by the Nazis prompts the current owner to start a website to show he is open to debate on the provenance of the works.

Nazi Art Trove: Monuments man. After authorities seize hundreds of his paintings, a German art collector's legal team sets up a website to defend against accusations that his collection includes art looted by the Nazis.

Mossad Passport: Cloak and dagger. A mysterious Canadian-Iranian businessman alleges Ottawa issued a passport -- and a new identity -- to an Israeli spy, after he aided in the plot to kill a Hamas leader.


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How to Keep Ukraine's Revolution Alive

Advice from the architect of Georgia's Rose Revolution.


[The Kike's] Politico, "WASHINGTON AND THE WORLD", February 23, 2014

Mikheil Saakashvili was president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013. He is now senior statesman at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Dramatic events in Kyiv over the last few days have kept the world glued to their TV, computer and smartphone screens. The bravery of the Ukrainian people has re-energized freedom lovers and democracy seekers. But the success of this endeavor has yet to be decided, and the next few weeks will be critical for Ukraine. We all are drawn to a good revolution – but it is the day after, and the day after that, that is the hard part. And it is far easier to predict the perils that can derail a revolution than it is to come up with the solutions to keep it on track.

As I arrive again in Ukraine, I am reminded of my first trip there after the Orange Revolution, in 2005, when I was Georgia’s newly elected president, also fighting to forge a democracy that would move our nation from beneath the shadow of the former Soviet Union. On that trip, five months after Ukrainians had swept aside their old government, I was startled to learn that virtually none of the critical reforms needed to transform the country had even been initiated or planned. It was heartbreaking because I know the energy it takes to win a revolution – and because it was probably already too late to get that one right.

This time, we should avoid those mistakes. This time, we should get it right.

Georgia’s own Rose Revolution took place about a year before its Orange sister. What Georgia faced when the crowds returned home from the streets was not so different from Ukraine – a failed state with a systemically corrupt and non-functioning economy that delivered no services to its people and was wracked by crime and ruled by networks of criminals, with parts of the country no longer under the control of the central government. As Ukraine is now, my country then was often referred to as “a place of bribes and tribes.”

But by that point, 17 months after the Georgian revolution, the talented team of ministers and experts working in my cabinet had done much to begin to tangibly alter the way the Georgian state interacted with its people – and thus also change the way the people viewed the state. People believed that change was real. It bought us time to understand the enormity of the checklist that we faced.

Eventually, we used the time to create a legacy for the country: the defeat of corruption, reformed institutions, a manifold increase in the budget, modern infrastructure and an attractive place for investment.

But time to make such things happen is a luxury of which Ukraine will have little.

The Revolution will be crowdsourced…

In 2014, the critical nature of beginning to immediately transform the way the Ukrainian state interacts with its citizens cannot be overstated. This is doubly true when the revolution is no longer just televised, but crowdsourced. What we saw in the streets of Ukraine was not about what various groups of the political elite wanted, but what the people of Ukraine wanted. And now whatever elite takes the reins has to deliver as never before.

In crowdsourced revolutions, the people of a country are terrifyingly connected and involved. The tools of accountability are more nimble and incisive than ever, and the expectation of progress is measured by hours, not by weeks or months.

This is an entirely new form of political development. The existing literature on transforming the energy of revolution into the energy of reform and nation-building cannot even begin to apply – and we have several stalled post-Arab Spring projects as examples of how traditional thinking or slow action have failed to sustain revolutions.

Ukraine will be the battleground for new ideas, and hopefully something successful.

… and Ukraine’s new leadership needs to be prepared to deliver…

To give Ukraine’s second revolution a real chance for success, four things must happen in the coming weeks.

First, the opposition must stay unified on principles rather than personalities. Ukraine already lost one revolution, the Orange one a decade ago, to elite infighting, making it all the more important that this become a lesson learned.

Second, the fragmentation of Ukraine must be prevented. Any attempts to question or weaken Ukraine’s territorial integrity by internal or external forces cannot be allowed. Off-handed statements from Russian officials about seizing Crimea must be responded to swiftly and clearly by the US and the EU.

Third, “ordering” the revolution is critical. This can only be done through fast, free and fair elections that create a government viewed as legitimate by the people – a government that can be a partner for the international community to engage and support. Until and unless the Ukrainian people are invested in their government, Western investment to facilitate this transition cannot succeed. Only after elections will the government have any trust of the people to conduct the reforms essential to restoring and revitalizing Ukraine’s democratic project.

Fourth, the international community must remain engaged long after the streets grow quiet and the cameras go home.

… and the West must be prepared to help.

Those watching from the West need to be prepared to help in several critical ways.

We need to help Ukraine get its elections right as quickly as possible. Nothing can happen without a government trusted by the people.

We need to prepare to allocate resources to support robust programs to aid reforms once a government is in place to enact them.

We need to proactively offer significant financial assistance to balance the economy during this transition and decrease the immediate impact on the people of Ukraine.

We need to help buffer against Russia’s negative interference by remaining unified in our support of a clear Ukrainian-driven project. Targeted sanctions against specific individuals, family members, and their assets – like those being discussed and implemented by the White House, the U.S. Congress and the European Union, which are inspired by the Magnitsky Act – can remain important tools to discourage local or outside actors from attempting to derail what comes next.

We need to help prevent retribution and the perversion of justice and facilitate the establishment of a commission that can help find those individuals responsible for the killing of more than 100 Euromaidan protesters, rather than attempting to hold entire political parties or other groups accountable wholesale – a move that would divide the country irreparably.

In recent months, Ukraine has often been referred to as a nation divided. In reality, it is a complex nation within its borders, not a divided one. Ukraine has people of different language and religious and cultural backgrounds to be sure, and its largely aritificial “east/west divide” has been well-exploited by those who stood to gain from this perception. President Putin, afterall, does not believe Ukraine is really a country. But east or west, Ukrainians still believe they are Ukrainians. The new government will need to remember this as it begins its work.

I believe the steps I’ve suggested will sustain Ukraine’s revolution and allow for transformational reform to begin. Reforms must be sweeping and genuine – innovative to address the specific concerns of the Ukrainian people, deep and broad to prevent cascading crises that will alienate the public. The newly elected leadership must use the trust placed in it by the people to quickly conduct reforms that will:

  • Restore a balance of power between branches of government and create accountability to the people;
  • Fix parliament as a first step toward creating non-corrupt institutions that will be essential for overseeing reform;
  • Ensure economic and political transitions are occurring in unison;
  • Work tirelessly to visibly end corruption – in addition to this being a clear demand from the people, it is also a highly practical measure: Money needs to go where it is needed or it will be an obstacle for all reforms; and,
  • Build an inclusive state where Ukraine’s diverse groups feel protected, represented and invested in the future – and ensure that the process of governance and reform is equally inclusive.

These steps will be a critical guarantee of trust that will buy time for all that needs to come next. Consolidating a revolution is a very difficult and often unappreciated process, and, as I have learned, leaving hard issues for “better times” can undermine efforts and corrupt the whole idea and legacy of reform. The public’s perception of progress must match the reality that the government is building, and the government needs to stay in touch with their concerns. Ukraine’s new leadership needs to be committed to what they are building and understand that this legacy must live beyond their place in it.

Ukraine, Russia and the West

Russian leaders see Ukraine – and indeed all the countries along their periphery – as their exclusive zone of interest in a zero-sum game vis-à-vis the West. This is because they have the same problem of vantage point with their neighbors as they do at home – they forget to see the people inside the borders. The rest of us should see Ukraine not as a battle to gain or lose one country, but as a fight about whether to allow 46 million people to determine their own future or not.

The United States has invested much since World War II in the modern European project – a vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace. Current economic challenges aside, the success of this endeavor over the past 70 years has been staggering.

But now Ukraine has become the first country where people died while waving the flag of the European Union they hoped to join. The people of Ukraine deserve better, and their blood has earned it.

This is not to say Russian help cannot be welcomed if it is positive. To say the Russians have no role in what comes next would be falling prey to their own zero-sum rhetoric. But the upcoming G-8 summit in Sochi must be used to send President Vladimir Putin a clear and unified message on the parameters of his engagement in Ukraine going forward. Any steps that directly or indirectly undermine Ukrainian statehood, territorial integrity or its right to freely choose its future cannot be allowed.

Russia has always overestimated its leverage over the West, as much as the West underestimated its real power toward Russia. It is high time to balance this equation.

The West should not be afraid to show unity to defend the free choice of 46 million people and allow them a better future. Following the G-8 summit, the EU should meet and offer Ukraine a clear road map to membership that will help guide reforms, and help contextualize them for the Ukrainian people.

If Ukraine doesn’t go right, or falls irreparably out of the European orbit, or does not gain material aid from the West after fighting for the right to aspire to membership in that club – no other formerly captive Soviet nation really has a shot. Certainly not Georgia or Moldova – both only a fraction of the size of Ukraine’s population. These states can remain in a gray zone between Europe and everywhere else, popping up now and then with humanitarian, security and economic crises that keep Europe from resting easy very long – or we can end this cycle once and for all by admitting we do have an interest in these places and that their identity matters to us. That we can see beyond problematic elites to the people themselves.

The peoples of the former Soviet states at the periphery of Europe are watching for how we act next to empower the aspirations of the people of Ukraine, as are those in the Caucasus and even those in Central Asia.

And so are the 143 million people of one other post-Soviet state – Russia. For years, Russians have been hounded with the daily propaganda that Slavic orthodox nations are fundamentally incompatible with pluralistic democracy. Russians consider themselves close kin to Ukrainians, and a successful revolution in Ukraine will change not only how Russians see Ukraine and Ukrainians, but how they see themselves, and their own free choice for their future.


nicholasi: Summary: Soros-puppet and warmonger issues orders to US & EU, demands $£$£$£, puts his name to drivel written by some colour-revolution clown.

michaelgingerly: These are the same lizard liberals who saw the genocide in Rwanda and said never again, as they witness the carnage in Syria, Ukraine, Thailand, and Venezuela. Barry has a massive ego, Does he want to go down in history as the POTUS who fiddled while the USSR reassembled?

michaelgingerly: Reagan brought down the USSR. Barry wants to be "flexible"

Ragnar__Danneskjold: Wait, I thought we were only supposed to care about this for one day last week. What's this all about.

mitchie124: The "revolution" will be kept alive just as every other phony uprising is: The Rothschild EU will continue financing it while their moles completely encompass it and deliver it to the Rothschild EU, so another country of people can become debt slaves to the global banking cartel.

Janice Karzaki: NO US money for Ukraine. Let the EU pay for the whole thing. We have no stake in Ukraine -- let the EU worry about it bear any burden it requires. NO US MONEY FOR UKRAINW.

nicholasi to Janice Karzaki: Well said. But you don't really think your voice is ever heard by the parasites do you? Of course US taxpayers will get a massive bill for the success of this globalist operation.

Clintoncrat_for_Palin: Oh no you don't. You're not dragging us into your little mess. We need to stop giving foreign aide, not find other willy-nilly excuses to give even more people more American tax-payer money. This is a Ukrainian issue; no one here cares about it. No one cares what the Russians do about it; send troops, make sanctions, annex Crimea. I don't care. I don't care how the Europeans respond either; that's their problem their politicians accountable to their people will have to deal with. They can send troops; they can sanction, they can decide for themselves. They shouldn't interfere with us, the American people, from doing business with whoever we want, and neither should our own government. PUMA.

BuckCarson: The people of the Ukraine are Americans as far as I am concerned. We need to be of help. But frankly, I am not certain the current administration can even discriminate intellectually the import of the Ukraine, nor muster compassion for a people that want freedom. When the regime took office, Iran was revolting. The Iranian people *assumed* we would help. Iranian students asked - where is the USA? They were their for our neighbors in IRAQ. But no... not even a peep... We have no foreign policy.


McCain: Putin should be 'nervous'


[VIDEO of The Kike's whore McCain]

The violent uprising in Ukraine should make Russian President Vladimir Putin "nervous" about his own leadership in Russia, and a partition of Ukraine is "totally unacceptable," Sen. John McCain said Sunday.

"They want to be western," the Arizona Republican, appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," said of the Ukrainian people. "They don't want to be eastern."

The senator said he had spoken with multiple Ukrainian opposition leaders, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was released from prison last week following a vote in Ukraine's parliament. He said the anti-government leaders are "overjoyed" but that "there's a sobering reality" about how difficult it will be to repair the country and its economy.


McCain is 77 years old and has been in the Senate for the last 27 years. We need to thank him for his service and move on to someone a little younger and less indoctrinated.

Yes, this puppet of the jew will soon be replaced by a younger one, with more mileage.

Oh look Ukraine was able to over throw their President without any help from the US .Sorry McCain better luck next time.

No, the CIA and all the US-taxpayer-sponsored "change agents" had nothing to do with it.

Another conspiracy nutcase thinking all governments deposed by popular protests are very noble and popular!

Yeah, I must be a "conspiracy nutcase". There is no CIA, CFR, Open Society, IMF -- none of that. I just made them all up.

Why should I believe Ukraine 'want to be western' and 'don't want to be eastern'? Is there any proof of this? Did McCain ever consider that the Ukrainians might want to be an independent nation, and not be forced to choose to between a black and white, cold war esque, eastern or western stance?

This ho of the jew's said it, that's all the "proof" you need. What are you, some sort of dissident!?

Between Stalin starving them & the back & forth between Germany & the Soviets tens of millions of Ukrainians have died.

Was Stalin Russian?

No, he was Georgian & he killed so many people he almost made Hitler look like a nice guy.Topic: a partition of Ukraine is "totally unacceptable" Why not? Who made McCain the judge?

It's America's job as the world cop to go around patrolling foreign lands while US borders are open to the "wretched refuse". It's America's job to ensure that Yugoslavia, Serbia & Montenegro, Serbia (inc Kosovo), are all split up, while b!tching about any division in Ukraine, Georgia, Kosovo, Bosnia, USA.... I think it's in the US Declaration of Independence, or some speech somewhere. Who knows?


A chequebook! A chequebook! The kingdom for a chequebook!

Britain offers cash to Kiev

George Osborne says Britain will be ready 'with a chequebook' to help 'rebuild' country

Telegraph, 23 Feb 2014

Britain has offered to help fund an international financial rescue package for Ukraine amid mounting fears that Russia may intervene following the country's revolution.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, said that Britain and other countries will be ready “with a chequebook” to help “rebuild” Ukraine following the bloody violence that has seen 88 killed and hundreds more injured.

Mr Osborne joined American and European leaders in pledging financial support to Ukraine.

European Union officials will travel to Kiev on Monday in a bid to help broker a financial package to assist the country as Ukrainian politicians struggle to form a government in the next 24 hours.

“We are here ready to help just as soon as there is someone at the end of the telephone,” Mr Osborne said.

He added: “We should be there with a chequebook to help the people of Ukraine rebuild their country.”

Britain “will send a very strong message” that there will be financial support for Ukraine through the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, he added.

With protesters still massed in the heart of Kiev, the first task of Ukraine’s post-revolutionary government will be to stave off national bankruptcy.

Mr Yanukovych had agreed a $15 billion (£9.5 billion) loan from Russia.

If Russia pulls the plug on that deal, Ukraine will need urgent help from elsewhere in order to avoid defaulting on its national debt.

With senior Ukrainian politicians warning that the country’s economy is on the brink of collapse, it has lead to speculation that Britain could become part of massive bailout of the country.

Ukraine is also reliant on Russian gas supplies.

Speaking in Australia, Mr Osborne said:

"I think the G20 should send a very strong message…and countries like Britain, America and others should send a very strong message that international assistance is there, financial assistance is there for the people of Ukraine."

Ukraine needs help to rebuild its economy

The EU, normally so hopeless in a crisis, has an opportunity to promote free, uncorrupt institutions in Ukraine

Telegraph, 23 Feb 2014

After days of violent protests, there was an eery sense of calm in Ukraine during the weekend. But though the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, has been ousted from power, there was also an overwhelming sense of division over who or what might replace him. The great fear for Western leaders is that Russia will intervene militarily in the affairs of its most important neighbour. Such a threat cannot be ruled out. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, views this kind of geopolitical struggle as a matter of personal prestige – he prefers to humiliate his rivals, rather than strike deals with them – and Mr Yanukovych, while in power, had become his ally.

That Mr Putin may act rashly in the days ahead is just one of the “many dangers” that William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, alluded to yesterday. Others are the possibility of renewed violence or that ethnically Russian parts of the country, such as Crimea, will attempt to secede. This situation represents a challenge to the EU in particular, which has been attempting to woo Ukraine with a trade deal worth hundreds of millions of euros a year. This deal is not the same as membership of the EU, a point that should be emphasised to Mr Putin. But nor is it far from it.

EU leaders – notably Angela Merkel, who is in London this week, and David Cameron – should not shy away from trumpeting its benefits. It would offer Ukraine entry into a huge and developed market on its doorstep. And unlike Mr Putin’s recent offers to his neighbour of cheap gas and debt, there would be few strings attached.

First, however, Ukraine needs a government. And as Mr Hague suggested, this should be inclusive, satisfying as much as possible both the protesters and those who are sceptical of their demands, until the full presidential elections are held in May. George Osborne, the Chancellor, said yesterday that “we should be there with a cheque book to help the people of Ukraine rebuild their country.”

This commitment of aid as well as trade is crucial to avoid Ukraine going bankrupt, and it is not without historical precedent.

In the coming days and weeks, Western leaders must do everything they can to promote a working economy in Ukraine so that its institutions – above all its government – can be free from corruption and outside interference. The EU has responded hopelessly to international crises in recent years, especially the eurozone debt crisis. But if it proves capable of meeting this challenge, it really will give Ukrainians something to vote for.


Good old George Osborne! cheque book in hand ready to dole out British Billions to the Ukrainian "Freedom Fighters" at the drop of a hat! never mind we can barely keep our own country afloat (literaly) and have an immense national debt no probelm for George. Perhaps for a change we might take a step back and look at the reality of the situation, the EU has been stirring up trouble in the Ukraine in order to achieve what Hitler failed to do ie. create Lebensraum for Germany, in the process the Russians have become pi**ed off and half of the Ukraine in very much pro Russian so in a minute we will have yet another civil conflict this time much closer to Europe. What an oportunity for Mr Cameron! he failed to get a mandate to assist the rebels in Syria but maybe this time he won't ask for one but rather simply commit the Army he has decimated to another conflict which is none of our business. Vote UKIP

It's extraordinary the lengths to which we are expected to go to support foreign countries rather than our own. I was delighted that we didn't get involved with Ukraine, and Hague kept a low profile for once, leaving the French and the Americans to stick their necks out. That has not lasted long though.

If nothing else the crisis in the Ukraine has revealed the DT's true colours.

'Ukraine needs help to rebuild its economy' 'Britain offers cash to Kiev' 'George Osborne says Britain will be ready with a cheque book to help rebuild country' A few of the headlines on this Telegraph site. How come they keep telling us we're broke? Austerity is just for us poor saps, I guess. There are some people in this country living in abject poverty. Not even allowed the apparent luxury of a spare bedroom. Yet there's always plenty of money to throw at other countries! signed - Mrs Very Angry

S&P says Ukraine "likely to default

It's interesting that Tom Clancy's final thriller was based on events around Ukraine, the threat of Crimean secession (or return, if you like) and a tough Russian president. Although I am normally sceptical of hurling good money after bad, I think Ukraine could be a deserving case if they can keep yesterday's politicians (and I'm afraid that includes Ms Timoshenko) from coming back and creating more of the "same old". But I think it would also be wise to keep Russia in the loop as much as possible. If nothing else it might help persuade President Putin that politics doesn't have to be a zero sum game.

Can anyone tell me why our politicians and in particular George Osbourne, are now falling over each other to offer 'an open cheque book' and give away yet more millions of the UK tax payers' hard earned cash to now assist the Ukraine, particularly with so many struggling in the UK to put their homes and lives back on track after the recent floods ? Whilst I genuinely feel for all Ukrainians and wish them well for their new future, I struggle to see the justification for yet more British largesse and the donation of yet more money that we just do not have and our children's future cannot afford.

In my opinion Putin could be using the same strategy that russian generals used to defeat Napoleon. Putin could be allowing pro West opposition to gain ground. Opposition has the control of western parts of the country and Kiev. However nobody knows who will rule the country. The economic situation is tragic. Putin is probably betting on chaos. If chaos starts, Putin will make his move and he will feel himself justified to intervene (militarily?). So we must prevent it. Western countries must politically intervene to build a strong government and to support the main ukrainian economic needs. We have no time. We have a great political opportunity this time and at the same time we are facing a great danger. If we fail in Ukraine there will be heavy consequences for all European countries' foreign policies and in particular in Middle East conflicts. We are involved in this geo-political crisis even if someone didn't want. We are wagering our reputation on it. Europe is wagering its reputation on it.

Yes, British people reach into your pockets and bring out your money, Ukraine needs your money, and Poland and Romania, Slovakia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, cyprus, Ireland, iceland, Sudan, Nigeria etc etc etc all of them, do it now, give. Help these nations, they need you.

The EU & USA would do well to tread carefully here and best to keep a low profile. With the Ukraine in Russia's back-yard and many Russian citizens in E.Ukraine it would be wise not to provoke Moscow into precipitous action. Most of Europe's gas supply from Russia flows through Ukraine with the bulk supplying Germany. As Germany holds gas contracts with Norway and the UK only possesses spot prices with Oslo the ramifications for the fragile UK supplies are clear! Be careful Mr Haig!

Why on eArth is gormless Gideon promising yet more British money? These revolting revolutionaries have overthrown their elected government and have wrecked their own country. To blazes with them.

One of the lessons that *could* be learnt from Ukraine in the last week or two, is that when legislation can be seen to be defective, like the anti-protest laws rushed through by the Rada in January, it can actually be *repealed*. Britain's homosexual mockery legislation is quite clearly *no less stupid* in its own way. It won't be possible to resist demands from first polygamists, then people involved in incest and relationships with farm animals, to adopt children, and thus demand the right to wreak yet more destruction on the family, than which there is no more important institution. One has to ask oneself - is homosexual marriage *really* a very good idea?

Why not just leave them to it. Why exactly does spending British taxpayer money on a 'Ukraine project' make the slightest difference to us? Political bribes to the EU or Russia shouldn't be regarded as 'investment' surely?

DT nervous that Putin "may act rashly in the days ahead". Funny. I can't think of a single rash thing he has done since being appointed to high office by President Yeltsin. Maybe the law protecting Russian schoolchildren from homosexual propaganda was rash? He does have an infuriating habit of defending Russian interests - is that what you mean by 'rash'?

Nowadays we look to Russia for sensible leadership. Strange times indeed, but we will get only misery and worse from our kleptocratic Nomenklatura.







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