By ILH Staff and News Agencies—
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister apologized Tuesday for accusing El Al airlines for refraining from imposing sanctions on Russia and continuing to accept funds via the Mir Russian payment system, the Times of Israel reported.
“While the world sanctions Russia for its barbaric atrocities in Ukraine, some prefer to make money soaked in Ukrainian blood,” Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter. “Immoral and a blow to Ukrainian-Israeli relations.”
El Al rejected the accusations, saying it had stopped accepting Mir on Feb. 28, four days after the incursion began. It lamented the fact that Kuleba failed to check the facts before posting his “misleading tweet” and noted that El Al airplanes have brought crucial humanitarian aid to Ukraine and also ferried refugees to Israel.
“Indeed, the ‘Mir’ payment button remained on the website, but the use of it was blocked,” Kuleba acknowledged on Tuesday, though the system’s logo did not appear on the El Al website during attempts to book flights from the United States, Israel and Russia on Monday. “I am grateful to El Al for its important humanitarian operations and convey my apologies.”
Kuleba deleted his original tweet shortly after apologizing.
Meanwhile, buses packed with people fleeing the Russian invasion in Ukraine began a procession along a snowy road out of one city Tuesday, as a new effort to evacuate civilians along safe corridors finally got underway.
The Russian onslaught has forced 2 million people to flee Ukraine, UN officials said Tuesday, but has trapped others inside besieged cities that are running low on food, water and medicine amid the biggest ground war in Europe since World War II.
Previous attempts to lead civilians to safety have crumbled with renewed attacks. The route people took Tuesday out of the eastern city of Sumy was one of five promised by the Russians to offer civilians a way to escape the fighting. Continue Reading….