BY Israel Kasnett, JNS—
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition on Feb. 21 of two “breakaway” states in eastern Ukraine and his subsequent dispatch of “peacekeepers” there—considered by Western nations to be an official invasion of the country—has left its citizens and particularly the Jewish communities on edge. Throughout Ukraine, Jewish leaders are watching closely, and many have made contingency plans in the event the situation worsens.
Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi Yaakov Bleich told JNS that the Jews “are part of the general community. What’s good for Ukraine is good for the Jews of Ukraine. What’s bad for Ukraine is bad for the Jews of Ukraine.”
He stated that Russia’s move is an “act of war against the sovereignty of Ukraine,” and he and other communities are keeping a close watch on events, as “it’s a developing situation.”
An estimated 200,000 Jews are spread throughout a number of communities in the country.
Bleich said that in the meantime, the Jewish communities near Lugansk and Donetsk “will shelter in place or evacuate.” Continue Reading….