Putin to host Jewish leaders while marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

File: Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) speaks with Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar (left), during a ceremony unveiling the memorial to members of the Jewish resistance in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, on June 4, 2019. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool/AFP)
File: Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) speaks with Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar (left), during a ceremony unveiling the memorial to members of the Jewish resistance in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, on June 4, 2019. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool/AFP)

Russian leader Vladimir Putin will meet with the country’s top Jewish leaders in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, local media reports.

According to the TASS news outlet, Putin will meet with Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar and Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia president Alexander Boroda later today.

This meeting comes after a top Russian official, assistant secretary of the Russian Security Council Aleksey Pavlov, refers to the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic sect, which Lazar is a part of, as a supremacist cult, prompting fierce criticism from the country’s Jewish leaders.

Earlier this month, Putin fired Pavlov from his position, without specifying why, but local media tied his dismissal to the remarks.

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