Russia accuses Ukraine of barring Israelis from evacuating - letter

While Russia provided no evidence, Ukrainian men aged 18-60 are barred from leaving the country even if they are dual citizens.

 Ukrainian refugees are seen arriving in Israel as part of Operation Israeli Guarantee, on March 6, 2022. (photo credit: Sraya Diamant/GPO)
Ukrainian refugees are seen arriving in Israel as part of Operation Israeli Guarantee, on March 6, 2022.
(photo credit: Sraya Diamant/GPO)

Russia has accused Ukraine of preventing Israelis, along with other foreign nationals, from evacuating the country as the invasion continues.

In a letter written to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) by Russian Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich, Russia accused Ukraine of numerous acts of racial discrimination, in particular by the "nationalist radicals" who Russia has also referred to as neo-Nazis.

Among these accusations is the claim that foreign nationals with "dark skin" are being prevented from evacuating, specifying citizens of India, Israel, Indonesia, Pakistan and Egypt.

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This claim was not elaborated on, and there isn't much evidence supporting Russia's claim on the surface that a targeted effort has been made to prevent the citizens of these countries from leaving.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to comment. 

Israel has already taken in Jewish refugees from Ukraine and helped them make aliyah and plans to take in even more.

 Anti-tank constructions are seen in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 3, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH) Anti-tank constructions are seen in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 3, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)

However, it is true that Ukraine is barring all men with Ukrainian citizenship between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country, regardless of whether they are dual citizens. 

As such, an Israeli national with Ukrainian citizenship that is a male between the ages of 18 and 60 would be barred from leaving the country, though this is also true of any foreign national in the right demographic with Ukrainian citizenship.

It is also true that one Israeli citizen has died while trying to evacuate from Ukraine.

The Israeli in question, Roman Brodsky, was killed by Ukrainian forces while in a convoy heading to the Moldovan border after reportedly getting into an argument with Ukrainian soldiers.

According to Israeli news outlet Channel 12, the soldiers had mistaken Brodsky for a member of the Chechen forces sent to aid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

While Israel has recognized that Brodsky was killed, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett even calling his family, it has made no comment about its citizens being banned from leaving Ukraine.

The Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.