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Vadim Rabinovich

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Vadim Rabinovich
Вадим Рабінович
'ודים רבינוביץ
Rabinovich outdoors, in an open-necked shirt
Rabinovich in 2009
People's Deputy of Ukraine
In office
27 November 2014 – 3 November 2022[a]
Personal details
Born (1953-08-04) 4 August 1953 (age 70)
Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
(now Ukraine)
  • Ukraine (formerly, revoked)
  • Israel
Political partyOpposition Platform — For Life (2016–2022)[2]
Other political
Opposition Bloc (2014–2016)
Children1 daughter, 2 sons
Residence(s)Bitan Aharon, Israel
Known for
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union
Branch/service Soviet Army
Years of service1973–1975

Vadim Zinovyevich Rabinovich[b][c] (born 4 August 1953) is an Israeli and formerly Ukrainian oligarch[3][4] and Jewish community leader. He is a former leader of the banned Opposition Platform — For Life party, as well as an unsuccessful candidate in the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election and a People's Deputy of Ukraine from the 8th and 9th Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) convocations, serving as a member of the Opposition Bloc from 2014 to 2019 and as a member of Opposition Platform — For Life from 2019 until he was removed from office by the party for his support of Russia during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Born in Kharkiv, Rabinovich spent seven years in Soviet prisons for embezzlement and involvement with the black market, and made aliyah to Israel in the early 1990s, becoming an Israeli citizen in 1999. Rabinovich was a supporter of efforts to restore the Hurva Synagogue, for which a square was named after him after he was mistakenly believed to be deceased. In addition to his leadership of the Jewish community in Ukraine and philanthropic activities in Israel, Rabinovich is known for his support of pro-Russian politics in Ukraine, including his founding of the Opposition Platform — For Life political party and participation in the 2014 Ukrainian presidential and parliamentary elections.

In 2022, Rabinovich left Ukraine shortly after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, beforehand blaming the possibility of the war on the west and Ukraine on his Facebook. In March 2022, his position as a People's Deputy of Ukraine was terminated by Opposition Platform — For Life. The next month, Ukraine's government placed Rabinovich on a list of 111 people labelled as traitors in the war with Russia, and in July 2022, his citizenship was revoked by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, along with Ihor Kolomoyskyi and eight other Ukrainian oligarchs. On 3 November 2022 parliament officially terminated the powers of the People's Deputy Rabinovich because of his deprivement of Ukrainian citizenship.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

In 1970, Rabinovich graduated from Kharkiv Secondary School 45 and entered the Kharkiv National Automobile and Highway University. From 1973 to 1975, he performed mandatory military service in the Soviet Army's Air Defense Army. After leaving the army, Rabinovich was a foreman in the repair and construction department of the Kharkiv City Council [uk].

On 20 January 1980, he was arrested for "embezzlement of state funds in especially large amounts", but was released after a nine-month investigation.[5] Between 1980 and 1982, he headed wooden door production workshops.[citation needed]

Early in 1982, he was again arrested for "embezzlement of state fund in especially large amounts".[6] On 10 February 1984, he was sentenced to 14 years in forced labor camp by the Kharkiv Oblast court. His assets were confiscated, and professional activity was prohibited for 5 years. Rabinovich spent a total seven years in Soviet prisons, and has referred to the charges against him by Soviet prosecutors as "trumped up".[3]

In early 1986, following an early release, he began operating a business. Rabinovich, along with Andrii Alioshyn, established the Pinta firm, engaged in trading metals.[citation needed]

Activities in Israel[edit]

In the early 1990s, Rabinovich made aliyah to Israel,[7] and acquired citizenship in 1999.[8] A naturalized Israeli citizen, Rabinovich maintains homes in Ukraine and Israel.[9]

Rabinovich has donated over NIS 10 million to the restoration of the Hurva Synagogue.[10][11] As a result of his extensive funding of the Hurva Synagogue's restoration, the square where the synagogue resides was named after him. In 2012, councilwoman Rachel Azaria petitioned the Supreme Court of Israel to rescind the naming of the square, saying that Rabinovich was mistakenly thought to be deceased.[12] The Supreme Court agreed, revoking the naming of the square; Israeli law forbids the naming of streets and public venues in Jerusalem after living people.[13] Rabinovich has supported Jewish charitable organisations, and is a benefactor of the golden menorah in Jerusalem's Temple Institute.[citation needed]

Some Jewish leaders have accused Rabinovich of trying to buy positive publicity to make up for the negative publicity generated by his financial and political activities.[14]

Activities in Ukraine[edit]

In fall 1993, Rabinovich was appointed as Ukrainian representative of Austrian-based Nordex company. The reputation of Nordex president and Russian mafia leader Grigory Luchansky affected the image of Rabinovich.[15] Rabinovich had his visa to the United States revoked in 1995, reportedly due to links to arms dealers.[14]

In 1997, Rabinovich founded the 1+1 TV channel with Alexander Rodnyansky and Boris Fuksman. In 1996, he was appointed chairman of the Israeli-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce. From 1997 to 2009, Rabinovich was president of the Stolichnye Novosti publishing company. Rabinovich also created the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, then dissolved the organization in April 1999 and created the United Jewish Community of Ukraine [uk], which elected him leader.[14] In 2008, Rabinovich acquired the NewsOne TV channel.[citation needed]

On 24 June 1999, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) banned Rabinovich from entering Ukraine for a period of 5 years,[16] according to the SBU press service, the because Rabinovich's activity caused considerable damage to the economy of Ukraine. Later media reports said the SBU decision related to Rabinovich leaking information about the sale of ammunition by Ukraine to Yugoslavia despite the international embargo then in effect.[17]

With help from Rabinovich, a monument to victims of terrorism was dedicated in Kyiv by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, U.S. ambassador John E. Herbst and Russian ambassador Viktor Chernomyrdin on 11 September 2005.[citation needed] Since 1997, he has been president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress. In 2001, Rabinovich became head of the Step Towards Unity Forum of Christians and Jews. In 2011, with fellow Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, he founded the European Jewish Union (now known as the European Jewish Parliament), and served as co-chair of the organisation.[18] He was president of the Arsenal Kyiv football club from 2007 until the club's collapse in 2013.[4][19]

In March 2013, Rabinovich survived an apparent attempt on his life in Kyiv after an explosive device was hurled into Rabinovich's car near Klovska metro station.[20]

2014 Ukrainian presidential and parliamentary election[edit]

On 25 March 2014, Rabinovich registered with the Central Election Commission as a self-nominated candidate for the presidency of Ukraine.[21] This was partly to counter the characterization of the new Ukrainian government as antisemitic. After registering, Rabinovich said: "I want to destroy the myth about an anti-semitic Ukraine which is spreading around the world. Probably I'm the most fortunate candidate. Today unification is needed, and I'm a unifying candidate. I have no maniacal thirst for power, I just want to help the country".[21] In the election, he received 2.25% of the vote,[22] with his best showing in Dnipropetrovsk and the Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Odesa oblasts. Rabinovich was elected to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) the same year, placing fourth on the pro-Russian Opposition Bloc's electoral list.[23][24]

In July 2016, Rabinovich suspended his membership with the party,[25] and, together with ex-Opposition Bloc member Yevhen Murayev, created the Opposition Platform — For Life political party.[26] However, Rabinovich did not leave the Opposition Bloc parliamentary faction, so as to maintain his status as a People's Deputy.[17] On 15 November 2018, Rabinovich announced he would not take part in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election, but that he would top the party list in the following 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[27]

In 2021, Rabinovich launched an unsuccessful attempt to impeach Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the government's shuttering of three television stations deemed to be pro-Russian.[28]

2022 denunciation and revocation of citizenship[edit]

On 14 February 2022, Rabinovich published a post on Facebook, stating that "the war has started" and blaming the West and Ukraine for it.[3] Following the start of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, he left Ukraine and fled abroad.[29]

On 17 March 2022 his own party, Opposition Platform — For Life, terminated his term of office as a People's Deputy.[2] due to his support for Russia during the Russian invasion. On 6 September 2022 Rabinovich asked the Supreme Court of Ukraine to overturn this decision as an alleged violation of the established parliamentary procedure.[2]

In April 2022, Chesno and the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) placed Rabinovich on a published list of people accused of treason, calling him a "collaborator, pro-Russian politician".[30][28]

In July 2022, reports emerged that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had signed a decree to revoke Rabinovich's Ukrainian citizenship.[31] On 3 November 2022 the Ukrainian parliament officially ended Rabinovich's position as a People's Deputy, because of his loss of Ukrainian citizenship.[1]

In July 2023, the State Bureau of Investigation announced that Rabinovich was wanted on suspicion on treason, claiming that he had "made manipulative statements that harmed the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability, state, economic and information security of Ukraine. His propaganda activities helped the leadership of the russian federation to achieve its military and political goals" [32]

Political positions[edit]

Rabinovich stands for a non-aligned status of Ukraine, administrative reform and deep decentralization with maximum powers to the regional administrations.[33] However, according to OPORA monitoring, never votes for bills in support of decentralisation in Ukraine.[33] Rabinovich stated that these bills do not correspond to the concept of decentralization, so he did not vote for them.[33] Rabinovich instead proposed to hold a referendum on the issue of abolishing the office of President of Ukraine, a new Constitution, including federalization, which he does not want to be named federalization "because that word makes people nervous."[33]

Personal life[edit]

Vadim Rabinovich is married to Irina Rabinovich and has three children: son Oleh (born 1973), daughter Katerina (born 1994), and son Jacob (born 2008).[34]

Media holdings[edit]

Rabinovich founded Media International Group (MIG), which included the Stolichnye Novosti publishing company, the MIGnovosti and MIGnews newspapers in Ukraine and Israel, respectively, and the Delovaya Nedelya business weekly, in 2000. MIG later purchased Novoe Russkoe Slovo (New Russian Word, the oldest Russian newspaper in the US), the Narodnaia Volna radio station, the CN-Stolichnye Novosti political weekly and the Stolichka daily newspaper. Rabinovich co-owned Jewish News One from 2011 until its closure in 2014.


  1. ^ Parliament terminated the powers of the People's Deputy Rabinovich because of his deprivement of Ukrainian citizenship.[1]
  2. ^ Also transliterated as Vadym Zinoviyovych Rabinovych.
  3. ^ Ukrainian: Вадим Зіновійович Рабінович
    Russian: Вади́м Зино́вьевич Рабино́вич
    Hebrew: ודים רבינוביץ'


  1. ^ a b c ALONA MAZURENKO (3 November 2022). "The council deprived Rabinovich and Vasilkovsky of their mandates". Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 3 November 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Savenko, Mark (6 September 2022). "Рабінович подав до суду на "ОПЗЖ"" [Rabinovich sues OPZZh]. Ukrainian News Agency (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Liphshiz, Cnaan (28 July 2022). "Zelensky said to strip 3 Jewish oligarchs of citizenship; all hold Israeli passports". Times of Israel. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Ukrainian, Russian Oligarchs Find Common Ground -- Soccer". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  5. ^ Вадим Рабінович: нардеп із двома судимостями. Політека (in Ukrainian). 30 August 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  6. ^ Журналисты вспомнили темные пятна из жизни Вадима Рабиновича (in Russian). Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  7. ^ "'I am the Obama of Ukraine,' says Jewish presidential hopeful". The Times of Israel.
  8. ^ "Журналист опубликовал справку об израильском гражданстве депутата Рабиновича". ukranews.com. 13 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Israeli News | The Jerusalem Post". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 26 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Hurva Synagogue restoration nears completion". Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2016., Jerusalem Post, 28 March 2008.
  11. ^ From ruin to reconstruction, the Hurva Synagogue is completed – again, Jewish Journal, 9 March 2010.
  12. ^ Naming of Old City plaza after oligarch stirs debate, Jerusalem Post, 1 June 2012. Archived 17 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Why was Old City square named after Ukrainian oligarch, 500 years before his time?, The Time of Israel, 1 May 2012
  14. ^ a b c Rabinovich rallies his supporters, Kyiv Post (8 April 1999)[dead link]
  15. ^ "Отсидка, коррупция и поставка оружия террористам". from-ua.com. 3 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Рабинович Вадим" [Rabinovich Vadim]. Думская (Dumskaya.net) (in Russian). Retrieved 13 March 2023.
  17. ^ a b "ХТО КОМУ РАБІНОВИЧ". umoloda.kyiv.ua. 7 February 2018.
  18. ^ European Jewish Parliament off to a semi-comedic start – JWeekly, 3 November 2011
  19. ^ Tsivlin, Nathan (3 July 2007). "Jewish leader buying soccer club says he'll keep his Jewish goals, too". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  20. ^ "Ukrainian Jewish leader Rabinovich survives blast". The Times of Israel.
  21. ^ a b "President of All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress Rabynovych to register as presidential candidate".
  22. ^ "Poroshenko wins presidential election with 54.7% of vote – CEC". Radio Ukraine International. 29 May 2014. Archived from the original on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
    (in Russian) Results election of Ukrainian president, Телеграф (29 May 2014)
  23. ^ Poroshenko Bloc to have greatest number of seats in parliament, Ukrinform (8 November 2014)
    People's Front 0.33% ahead of Poroshenko Bloc with all ballots counted in Ukraine elections – CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
    Poroshenko Bloc to get 132 seats in parliament – CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
  24. ^ (in Ukrainian) Full electoral list of Opposition Bloc, Ukrayinska Pravda (19 September 2014)
  25. ^ "From the Opposition bloc goes Rabinovich – Ukrop News 24". ukropnews24.com. Archived from the original on 9 November 2016.
  26. ^ "Party 'the Center' received a new name". Archived from the original on 9 November 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  27. ^ For Life Party's leader Rabinovich not to run for president of Ukraine, Interfax-Ukraine (15 November 2018)
  28. ^ a b Liphshiz, Cnaan. "Ukraine adds local Jewish leader to list of pro-Russian 'traitors'". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  29. ^ Liphshiz, Cnaan (21 April 2022). "Ukraine adds local Jewish leader to list of pro-Russian 'traitors'". The Times of Israel.
  30. ^ Liphshiz, Cnaan (20 April 2022). "Ukrainian Jewish leader added to list of pro-Russia 'traitors'". J. The Jewish News of Northern California.
  31. ^ Nahaylo, Bohdan (21 July 2022). "Have Kolomoisky, Rabynovych and Korban been stripped of their Ukrainian citizenship? – KyivPost – Ukraine's Global Voice". KyivPost. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  32. ^ State Bureau of Investigation (27 July 2023). "SBI announces suspicion of treason to former MP from OPFL Rabinovych". Archived from the original on 3 September 2023.
  33. ^ a b c d (in Ukrainian) FOR LIFE Who is Vadim Rabinovich to whom? by Ukrayinska Pravda/Civil movement "Chesno" (2017)
  34. ^ "Рабинович Вадим".


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