‘Humanitarian crisis’ unfolds on Ukraine-Belarus border as Jewish pilgrims left stranded after Kiev tightens Covid-19 restrictions

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Hundreds of Hasidim pilgrims, looking for to go to a commemorated rabbi’s grave in Ukraine’s Uman to mark Jewish New Year, have reportedly turn out to be caught between Belarus and Ukraine after Kiev tightened border controls over coronavirus.

Between 1,000 and a couple of,500 pilgrims are stranded at a number of border crossing factors, in keeping with media reviews. Roughly a half of them crossed the Belarus frontier but had been unable to enter Ukraine, the place they had been met by a powerful militarized border guard pressure.

The pilgrims have flocked to Belarus over the previous few days, looking for to get into Ukraine by land. The Hasidim, who largely got here from Israel, are gathering to have fun Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) within the Ukrainian city of Uman. The city is he burial place of Rabbi Nachman, an 18th-century luminary and founding father of the Bratslav Hasidic motion.

While the pilgrims can enter and depart Belarus freely, Ukraine closed its border to foreigners for 4 weeks on August 28, citing a worsening coronavirus scenario.

“A group of 170 Hasidim managed to find a loophole and according to their account, in return for a payment ($3,000 each) various authorities agreed to let them across the border [Monday] evening,” the Secretariat of Bratslav Hasidim stated in an announcement. “In practice, as a result of the arrival of hundreds more Hasidim to the border crossing, the Ukrainian border guard deployed forces and the Ukrainian border commander arrived himself to the location to make sure no one enters.”

The stranded pilgrims, together with youngsters, have skilled a scarcity of meals and water on the web site. The Secretariat blamed the Israeli authorities for the scenario and demanded the nation’s international ministry intervene instantly.

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The pilgrims have already acquired aid from the Belarusian Red Cross. Volunteers from the group arrived on the border early on Tuesday, distributing meals, drinks and blankets to the stranded folks.

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