Israel Silberstein, a rabbi from the United States, was working in the Primorye region of Siberia and assisting Jewish people to engage in their faith. On his visa application, he indicated the purpose of his visit was to further cultural ties, but some bureaucrat in Vladivostok, did not believe functioning in the role of being a rabbi somehow was connected with furthering cultural ties and requested that the rabbi be deported. Rabbi Silverstein is only one of dozens of people who have had their visas cancelled in Putin Russia because of some minor error or reinterpretation on the part of a bureaucrat who wanted to make clear the government decides who can or can not stay in Putin Russia.
The Jewish community of the region is now without a rabbi. For some reason, the government decided they will control the functions of a rabbi. One can only wonder exactly what they wish to have a rabbi indicate on a visa as to the purpose of his visit.
The strange and bewildering world of life in Putin Russia.