When confronted by a foreign crisis, my first concern is whether it is better or worse for Jews in the region (“Compromise of sorts in Ukraine,” April 25). 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 Russia does threaten the indigenous Jewish presence in that region with the specter of pogroms reminiscent of the Cossacks in the massacre of Jews in 1904 and 1905. Unfortunately, the more recent record has not been more tolerant, as Ukrainian units collaborated with Adolf Hitler during 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 a temporary armistice between the two parties without impacting unfavorably against the dwindling Jewish population in Crimea, Ukraine and Russia.