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‘Humanitarian crisis’ unfolds on Ukraine-Belarus border. Dep. Min. Porush speaks with Israeli ambassador to Moldova for Breslov

Deputy Minister Meir Porush spoke with the Israeli Ambassador to Moldova Eli Blotserkowski, to find a humanitarian solution for Breslov followers who remained stuck in the country.

The ambassador announced that he was beginning to act urgently on the matter.

At least 1,000 Israeli Breslovv Hasidim are reportedly trapped between the borders of Belarus and Ukraine, in the latest setback to an annual pilgrimage to a venerated rabbi’s grave in Uman that has descended into chaos, as thousands of pilgrims try to beat coronavirus restrictions holding them back.

The pilgrims have flocked to Belarus over the past few days, seeking to get into Ukraine by land. The Hasidim, who mostly came from Israel, are gathering to celebrate Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) in the Ukrainian town of Uman. The town is he burial place of Rabbi Nachman, an 18th-century luminary and founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement.

According to the National Secretariat of Breslov Hasidim, there are around 2,500 pilgrims at the border crossing, with Hebrew media reports saying that while nearly half had left Belarus territory, they were being prevented from entering Ukraine by a strong deployment of armed Ukrainian border guards.

The secretariat said there is a shortage of food and water at the site and demanded that the Foreign Ministry immediately intervene, blaming the government for the situation.

“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 Breslovv Hasidim said in a statement.

“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 Red Cross arrived to distribute food, hot drinks and blankets for the pilgrims, among whom there are entire families including young children.

Video footage from the scene showed Hasidim camped out on a road crossing the border that was blocked by Ukrainian guards.

Each year, tens of thousands of pilgrims, mostly from Israel, gather for Rosh Hashanah in Uman, home of the burial place of Rabbi Nachman, an 18th-century luminary and founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement.

Source: Arutz Sheva and AGENCIES