MOSCOW (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin replaced the rabbi who previously represented Russian Jews on a Kremlin advisory council with a rival from an ultra-Orthodox movement, a Kremlin spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The spokeswoman declined to comment on why Putin booted Adolf Shayevich, who represents mainstream religious Jews, from the presidential council on religious organizations in favor of Berl Lazar of the New York-based Chabad Lubavitch movement.
Both Shayevich and Lazar claim the title of chief rabbi of Russia, but critics say Lazar represents only a small minority of the country's observant Jews.
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