Wagner chief in, Zelensky out of ‘most influential Jews’ listing

35 Wagner chief in, Zelensky out of ‘most influential Jews’ listing

The Ukrainian president is absent from the Jerusalem Publish’s rating this yr after topping the listing in 2022

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has not been included on this yr’s 50 “most influential Jews” listing, which is compiled yearly by the distinguished Israeli Jerusalem Publish newspaper. Zelensky topped the listing in 2022 amid the continued battle between Moscow and Kiev.

This yr, the highest spot on the newspaper’s listing went to Sam Altman, the CEO of the US-based OpenAI IT firm that created the ChatGPT chatbot. The entrepreneur is adopted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US International Secretary Antony Blinken, who occupy the second and the third locations among the many “most influential Jews” of 2023.

The Jerusalem Publish additionally gave an honorable point out to the deceased Russian businessman and founding father of the Wagner Group non-public army firm, Evgeny Prigozhin, though it ranked him simply exterior the highest 50 in 52nd place.

The entrepreneur, who had a “Jewish stepfather” turned a “hot-dog stand into an upscale restaurant empire,” the paper stated, including that his legacy had been “cemented” by his position because the Wagner Group chief.

Zelensky’s identify is now nowhere to be seen on the listing. The Publish didn’t present any rationalization for its determination to not embrace the Ukrainian chief on the listing this yr.

In September 2022, the paper ranked Zelensky first on the listing earlier than transferring him to second place, behind Israel’s then-prime minister, Yair Lapid. At the moment, it stated Kiev’s battle with Moscow had promoted him to the standing of an “icon,” incomes him comparisons with Britain’s World Struggle II-era prime minister, Winston Churchill.

The Publish did notice, nevertheless, that earlier than the battle, the Ukrainian chief had been “thought to be a curiosity if somebody exterior Ukraine thought of him in any respect” resulting from his previous as a comic who performed the president of Ukraine in an area sitcom.

Since then, Ukraine, nonetheless led by Zelensky, has launched its largely unsuccessful counteroffensive in opposition to the Russian forces, failing to result in any significant modifications to the entrance strains regardless of large army help offered to Kiev by its Western backers.

In July, the Ukrainian chief condemned NATO for what he referred to as its “indecisiveness” over the shortage of a transparent roadmap for Ukraine’s membership into the US-led bloc. His phrases reportedly angered US officers to the extent that they briefly thought of withdrawing Ukraine’s invitation to affix the bloc.

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced Zelensky, calling him a “shame to the Jewish folks.” He blasted Kiev for overtly celebrating Ukrainian nationalists like Stepan Bandera, whose group was accountable for mass killings of Jews and Poles in Ukraine throughout World Struggle II.

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