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Several Jewish oligarchs were close to Yanukovych until the very end of his time in office, just before he fled.Yet, alongside Jews at the Maidan were Ukrainian nationalists, with their long history of anti-Semitism.More important, it animates Russian President Vladimir Putin's repeated denunciations of "neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites" allegedly running rampant in the streets of Kiev, forcing a reluctant Russia to protect Jews, Russians and any decent Ukrainians who remain. Still, though Ukraine's chief rabbis and Jewish leaders have emphatically rejected Putin's claims of anti-Semitic excesses, there is enough hatred and blood in Ukraine's recent history to make one worry.It is also true that Russia today is as free of overt manifestations of anti-Semitism as Ukraine is, largely because Putin's hostility to Jew-baiting is a fact that is well known and duly noted.Though that nationalism may yet be directed against Ukraine's Russians, Poles and Jews, as it was in the past, the rest of the movement would resist such a turn (which may well explain why it has not happened).Russia does retain some support among Russophone Ukrainians of all ethnicities, including some Jews.
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