Kyiv Rav: “I Urge Jews To Leave Russia Before It’s Too Late”

In a photo taken in more peaceful times, HaRav Azman is seen with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Rav Moshe Azman is urging Russian Jews to leave the country before it’s too late.

“Today I would advise the Jewish communities of Russia to leave the country, and many are already doing so,” HaRav Azman said last week in an interview with Voice of America.

“I was in the Soviet Union and tried for many years to go to Israel,” said Rav Azman, who was born in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. “Therefore, when everything closes, it will be difficult to leave. The rhetoric in Russia is very dangerous. The rhetoric there now is worse than the Soviet Union.”

Rav Azman decried Russia’s preposterous propaganda against Ukraine as being led by Nazis. “They themselves act like Nazis,” he continued. “So who do they ‘denazify?’ They kill people, torture, rape. This is called ‘denazification.’ They invented this theory to justify their crimes.”

About 5,600 Jews have made aliyah to Israel since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.

There are almost 200,000 Jews in Russia, making it the seventh-largest Jewish community in the world.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. The war is going badly for Putin and whatever the outcome, it will not be good for yidden as he begins to look for scapegoats. Likewise, the Russian economy is cratering and economic hard times in Russia sadly are almost always a precursor to anti-Semitic attacks.

  2. Very BRAVE Rabbi
    A man who one would assume is obviously biased as he must want to preserve the status quo
    He has a vested interest in the Russian Jewish community
    He himself probably can’t go back to Russia after voicing his advice in public

  3. Every single Jew in Russia without 1 single exception is bound by his דעת-תורה to flee from Russia IMMEDIATELY not tarrying for 1 single moment longer.
    ב”ה for our wonderful מדינה who shall welcome them with open arms

  4. Mrmgoo writes:

    “It all started with communism”

    What started with communism? Anti-semitism in Russia? Maybe read a bit about Jewish life in Czarist Russia, if you can.

  5. Wouldn’t that be a problem for ones who have been sanctioned for being closely allied with Putin?

    Whether we like it or not, the Ukraine-Russia War (perhaps the first act of World War III), is very similar to World I (and very unlike World War II), as well as the Napoleonic Wars (which was probably the first world war, even if we don’t call it that), in the Jews are on both sides, all arguing that the side they support is the one whose victory will be “good for the Jews”.

  6. Clearly Rav Moshe Azman had a senior moment leading to lapse of memory when he forgot that actually the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine is Rav Yaakov Bleich, and hence when I made my donations, I made them thru the Chief Rabbi Rav Yaakov Bleich.

  7. @147
    1. That’s YWN’s fault, not his.
    2. Yaakov Bleich isn’t even in ukraine now, how can you call him the chief rabbi? (don’t take me so seriously on this one).