When confronted by a foreign crisis, my first question is whether it is better or worse for Jews in the region (“Compromise of sorts in Ukraine,” WJW, April 24). Certainly, while troubling, the unprovoked action of Russia in seizing the Crimea did not directly affect the Jewish population of that area, instead fulfilling an anticipated long-term goal of Vladimir Putin.
However, now the new threat to eastern Ukraine independence from the Soviet Union does threaten the indigenous Jewish presence in that region with the specter of pogroms reminiscent of the Cossacks in the massacre of Jews during the pogroms of 1904 and 1905. Unfortunately the more recent record has not been more tolerant as Ukrainian units collaborated with Adolf Hitler in the Holocaust and after World War II Stalin murdered thousands of Jews.
For the sake of peace in the region, I would hope that a combination of pressure and biting sanctions would bring at least an armistice between the two parties without impacting unfavorably the dwindling Jewish population in Crimea, Ukraine and Russia.