-The Baker of Uzghorod

“People back in America say that Jewish life in Ukraine is finished, that there used to be a lot of Jews here, and now there aren’t, after all that happened. I don’t look at it this way. Ukraine was always a Jewish place, with a Jewish history and a Jewish identity, and will always be.”

-Putin Bar

Jerusalem, Israel – 18th of March, 2014: Singing a traditional Ukrainian love song during karaoke night at the Putin Bar, the main hangout for Jerusalem’s Russian community, which includes several thousands of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Upon hearing the song’s theme words “I love, I see” most people in the bar joined in, explaining that in Russia everybody knows it since their childhood. Earlier on the day, the Russian government formalized the annexation of Crimea, escalating a crisis which might result in a war with Ukraine – a prospect described by someone in the bar as both extremely …