Jewish lawmaker dubbed ‘Russian traitor’ by Ukraine

Zelensky’s longtime political rival, businessman Vadim Rabinovich, once spearheaded an effort to oust the president. He is now officially declared a traitor to Ukraine.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky’s administration has declared that a Jewish lawmaker from an opposition party is a “collaborator, pro-Russian politician” and traitor to Ukraine, the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) reported.

Vadim Rabinovich, a longtime rival of Zelensky, was recently added to a blacklist of Ukrainians that includes opposition lawmakers, local politicians, journalists and bureaucrats who are allegedly linked to Russia or its president, Vladimir Putin.

A number of people on the list, which was published by Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and NGO Rukh Chesno, have been kidnapped and assassinated — presumably by Ukrainian security forces — since the beginning of the Russian invasion, JTA noted.

Last year, Rabinovich attempted to impeach the president,  citing Zelesnky’s policy of shuttering TV and news stations critical of him. Zelensky has claimed that these media outlets are Russian propaganda outlets.

The founder and head of the influential Jewish group the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, Rabinovich is one of very few Jews on the blacklist. He is also one of the founders and co-chairs of the mostly inactive European Jewish parliament.

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The millionaire natural gas exporter sponsored the 2012 renovation of the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Rabinovich currently resides in Bitan Aharon, an upscale moshav near Netanya, on Israel’s Sharon coastal plain.

He has faced repeated run-ins with the law in his native Ukraine, having been sentenced in 1984 to 14 years in prison and having all of his assets seized by the state due to illegal business practices.

However, Rabinovich only served about two years of that sentence before re-entering the business world, earning millions through metal trading.

He has long advocated for Ukraine to maintain a non-aligned status, meaning that the Eastern European nation should refrain from appearing to ally with either the West or Russia and maintain solid ties with both powers.