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More than 1,000 Jewish pilgrims blocked from Ukraine over coronavirus fears

Ukrainian authorities video from the scene confirmed tons of of males and boys ready alongside a freeway in Belarus to attempt to enter Ukraine. Some have arrange tents, apparently after having waited in a single day.

Border guards in helmets and physique armor policed a row of barricades blocking them from coming into the nation. Ukraine has been closed to foreigners since August.

The pilgrims have been given meals and water, the Ukrainian border service mentioned.

Ukraine is the burial place of the late-18th century Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the great-grandson of the founding father of the Hasidic motion. His grave within the city of Uman is a web site of pilgrimage usually visited by ultra-Orthodox Jews round Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which begins on Friday night time this yr.

Avraham Shapira, an Israeli pilgrim who’s on the border together with his youngsters, informed CNN that he’d booked a direct flight from Tel Aviv to Kiev 4 weeks in the past, as a result of he heard the border can be closed.

When he acquired to the airport, he mentioned, the flight was canceled and he booked new tickets to Kiev through London. In London, his subsequent flight was canceled too, however he was capable of e book a ticket to Belarus.

He praised the Belarus authorities for offering “all the services” wanted by the pilgrims crossing the border, saying the Belarusians have provided to offer buses to carry the pilgrims on to Uman, keep two days and return to Belarus.

Shapira added the group wouldn’t “see any citizen of Ukraine. It’s not a danger for anybody. I come to pray for the world, I don’t come to pray only for me.”

Belarus, which has confronted worldwide criticism over its hotly disputed presidential election, confirmed it had provided to move the pilgrims.

“Our country is ready to take responsibility on all these functions and, of course, organize the process as safely as possible, for instance it will not affect the situation with the Covid disease rate,” mentioned President Alexander Lukashenko’s press secretary Natalia Eismont mentioned in an announcement.

Ukraine’s authorities has issued an order to shut its border to foreigners from August 28 till September 28 to forestall the unfold of coronavirus, based on its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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