Russia chief rabbi and Putin ally condemns violence in Ukraine. Chabad Rabbi Bezel Lazar has offered to act as a mediator for the two sides

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) and Russia’s chief Rabbi Berel Lazar attend a ceremony marking the handover of the Schneerson library at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre in Moscow, on June 13, 2013. (YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia’s chief rabbi has condemned violence in Ukraine and made a public offer to act as a mediator between the two countries.

In a statement posted online, Rabbi Berel Lazar said: “Yes, we are different people, we can have completely different views on many problems. But in one thing we must be united: our duty to God is to strive with all our might for mutual understanding, for mutual respect, and in no case raise a sword against our brother.

“We feel the pain of our brothers, regardless of their faith. I urge everyone to pray for peace, but prayer alone is not enough. Now G-d expects every believer to do everything in their power to save human lives. Personally, I am ready for any mediation, ready to do anything I can and beyond to silence the guns and to stop the bombs. However, now is the time for joint action.”

Rabbi Lazar also appealed to leaders across Europe, saying: “We, loyal to One G-d alone, should use all our influence, all our power to stop the chaos and prevent further casualties. This is our sacred duty to the One Who created us all and gave us life in this world.”

Yesterday, one of Ukraine’s chief rabbis posted a video aimed at Russians, calling on them to end the violence in Kyiv.

A few hours after Rabbi Azman’s pleas President Volodymyr Zelensky, called on Jews around the world to “shout about the killing of civilians” and speak up for his country.

Rabbi Lazar is believed to be close to Vladimir Putin with critics accusing him of supporting the president in exchange for acceptance of Chabad in Russia.

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