More than 1,000 Jewish pilgrims blocked from Ukraine over Coronavirus fear

Ukrainian government videos of the incident show hundreds of men and boys waiting on a highway in Belarus trying to enter Ukraine. Some have set up tents, apparently after waiting overnight.

Border guards placed several barricades in the helmet and body armor, preventing them from entering the country. Ukraine has been closed to foreigners since August.

The pilgrims have been given food and water, the Ukrainian Border Service said.

Ukraine is the burial place of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the late 18th century, the grandson of the founder of the Hasadiq movement. His tomb in Uman city is a place of pilgrimage, often visited by ultra-Orthodox Jews around the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, which begins on Friday nights this year.

Avram Shapira, an Israeli pilgrim living on the border with his children, told CNN that he had booked a direct flight from Tel Aviv to Kiev four weeks earlier, as he had heard that the border would be closed.

When he got to the airport, he said, the flight was canceled and he booked new tickets to Kiev via London. In London, their next flight was also canceled, but they were able to book tickets for Belarus.

He praised the government of Belarus for providing “all the services” required by the pilgrims crossing the border, saying that the Belarusians offered to bring the pilgrims directly to Uman, stay two days, and provide buses to return to Belarus.

Shapira said the group “will not see any citizens of Ukraine. It is not a threat to anyone. I come to pray for the world, I do not come to pray only for me.”

Belarus, which has faced international criticism over its hotly disputed presidential election, confirmed that it had offered transport to the pilgrims.
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President Alexander Lukashenko’s press secretary, Natalia Eisma, said, “Our country is ready to take responsibility for all these actions and will certainly conduct this process as safely as possible, as it will not affect the situation with Kovid’s disease rate.” Will do. ” a statement.

The government of Ukraine has issued an order to close its border to foreigners from 28 August to 28 September to prevent the spread of coronavirus according to its foreign ministry.