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  • USSR leader Andropov reportedly hid Jewish roots to advance in party

    MOSCOW, June 17 (JTA) — Former Soviet leader Yuri Andropov had Jewish roots, according to recent reports in the Russian press. Andropov, who was in charge of the KGB for 15 years and then headed the USSR from November 1982 until his death in February 1984, concealed his Jewish background after he entered the Communist…

  • Alleged Lithuanian collaborator denies he killed Jews during war

    MOSCOW, June 9 (JTA) — An 81-year-old man deported from the United States for his World War II-era activities told prosecutors in his native Lithuania this week that he had not killed any Jews during the war. But in a meeting with Lithuanian prosecutors in the capital Vilnius, Kazys Ciurinskas did not deny collaboration with…

  • Russian police, neo-Nazis clash after pro-czar rally is prevented

    MOSCOW, May 20 (JTA) — Members of a far-right nationalist group clashed this week with Russian police who prevented them from rallying outside the Kremlin to commemorate the birthday of Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II. Some two dozen young activists belonging to the Pamyat group were detained by special riot police forces on Wednesday for…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Jewish leaders wary as tycoons restore their influence in Russia

    MOSCOW, May 23 (JTA) — Just a few weeks ago, a group of once-influential Russian tycoons and young political reformers, some of whom have Jewish roots, had hit rock bottom. Indeed, two of them were the subject of criminal investigations. But since Russian President Boris Yeltsin dismissed the government of Yevgeny Primakov and appointed Sergei…

  • Police in Russia defuse bomb near Jewish theater in Moscow

    MOSCOW, May 19 (JTA) — Russian police and security officials have defused a bomb discovered at the Shalom Jewish Theater in Moscow. The device, which was found Tuesday, contained more than one pound of explosives and a timing mechanism. Had it gone off it could have caused massive damage, police said. The bomb was found…

  • Russia lifts tax on Holocaust funds

    MOSCOW, May 16 (JTA) — Payments from a Swiss fund for needy Holocaust victims to survivors in Russia will be exempted from Russian income tax, according to a decision made by the outgoing Russian Cabinet. The decision — one of the last decrees passed by Yevgeny Primakov’s government before President Yeltsin fired Primakov — lifts…

  • Jewish centers offer safety net for elderly in former Soviet Union

    YEKATERINBURG, Russia, May 9 (JTA) — Evgeniya Fridman pours into a glass jar some of the free soup she’s just received at a soup kitchen here. “These lunches give us life,” says Fridman, as she adds more food to the jar. The leftovers will serve as her dinner, she explains. “I will have it at…

  • Heseds provide free services for needy, elderly Jews in Russia

    YEKATERINBURG, Russia, May 9 (JTA) — Among the free services provided by Heseds in 1998: * Food packages — More than 648,000 food packages were distributed, many timed for major Jewish holidays. * Meals at communal dining rooms and restaurants. More than 13,600 needy clients received meals in 215 dining rooms at 173 locations. *…

  • Elderly Russians rediscover their Jewish roots through JDC centers

    YEKATERINBURG, Russia, May 9 (JTA) — Lev Entin, a 90-year-old resident of St. Petersburg, has spent the past year relearning something he spent most of his life trying to forget: his Judaism. Entin”s father was a shochet, or ritual slaughterer, and until Entin was 12, he attended a cheder, or Jewish school. But after that,…

  • Pro-Jewish Moscow mayor target of anti-Semitic leaflets around city

    MOSCOW, May 9 (JTA) — Anti-Semitic leaflets aimed against the mayor of Moscow are being distributed in two Russian cities. The leaflets reproduce a photo of Yuri Luzhkov wearing a yarmulka at a Jewish event last year. The text that goes along with the picture falsely claims that Luzhkov is Jewish. Luzhkov is widely seen…