55 Ukrainian refugees land in Israel

More than three quarters of Donetsk’s prewar Jewish population has fled.

April 29, 2015 17:56

Displaced Jews from Donetsk bid farewell to George (Eliyahu) Zilberbordfrom who was killed by rebels in Kiev. (photo credit: VAAD OF UKRAINE)

Fifty-five Jews fleeing unrest in eastern Ukraine landed in Israel on Tuesday morning, joining more than seven thousand of their countrymen who made aliyah since the beginning of last year.

The latest batch of displaced Jews, many of whom hail from the separatist stronghold of Donetsk, were brought here on the fourth Ukrainian aliyah flight organized by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

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More than three quarters of Donetsk’s prewar Jewish population of between 10,000 and 11,000 people have since fled, either coming to Israel or becoming internally-displaced persons within Ukraine.

“We left all our belongings behind and we can no longer go back,” one refugee said.

The scale of the Jewish refugee issue in Ukraine has not been seen since the end of the Second World War, said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the President of the IFCJ.

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