The Assistant Secretary of the Security Council of Russia claims that he believes „Neo-pagan cults gained strength in Ukraine,” naming one of them as the Chabad-Lubavitch Hassidic movement.
Alexei Pavlov, the assistant secretary of the Security Council of Russia, has written in an op-ed that he believes „Neo-pagan cults [have] gained strength in Ukraine,” naming one of them as the Chabad-Lubavitch Hassidic movement, reports The Jerusalem Post.
Chabad is the most dominant Jewish group in Russia and Ukraine, and this shocking statement has outraged rabbis and emissaries in both countries.
Pavlov said, „The main life principle of the Lubavitcher followers is the supremacy of the sect’s supporters over all nations and peoples.”
He claimed that Igor Kolomoisky, a Jewish-Ukrainian oligarch, „is a Lubavitcher Hassid, an adherent of the ultra-Orthodox religious movement,” adding that „a number of other Ukrainian oligarchs belong to this movement, in particular Victor Pinchuk, who is the son-in-law of the second president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma.”
Berel Lazar, Russia’s Chief Rabbi, strongly condemned Pavlov’s accusations, saying it was „vulgar antisemitism.” He responded to Pavlov’s remarks, „Unfortunately, the article contains a position that is difficult to grasp, other than an insult to millions of Jewish believers, including the vast majority of Jews in Russia.”
„Pavlov’s logic can be called nonsense, vulgar and antisemitism, but this is a new type of old blood libel, and if they are uttered by a member of the Russian Security Council, this poses huge danger [for Jews],” Lazar stressed.
Lazar explained, „Lubavitch Hassidism, the religious movement of Chabad, is not a sect, but a stream in Judaism,” adding that „Today, it is the largest movement within the Hassidic world and 90% of the rabbis working in the Jewish communities of Russia belong to Chabad. I myself am also a Lubavitch Hassid,” he stated.