International news media reports that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin have reached a ceasefire agreement were greeted by skepticism by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Ukraine department. Its staff in Ukraine has been on emergency footing for months in attempting to ameliorate the dire situation of its clients in conflict-stricken eastern Ukraine.To think that anybody would have to suffer through this kind of depravity, stirred by neo-communists. Russia didn't have to do this, but they did. Communism, sadly, has returned, and it's costing the Jewish community in Ukraine just as much as it is the rest of the population.
“I can’t believe it right now, though I would love to believe it — it means my family will be safe too because my family is right there,” says Oksana Galkevich, head of the JDC’s Ukraine desk.
Since the start of the armed fighting in eastern Ukraine in April, nearly 2,600 people have been killed and over 340,000 forced to flee their homes, according to the UN. Countless thousands of Jews are among those who left the war-torn region, including some 2,000 welfare clients of the JDC. But another 3,100 clients — elderly, disabled, disadvantaged children — have remained in what’s left of their homes and suffered for weeks without water or electricity.
Eastern Ukraine once held 27,000 Jews, according to Jewish community estimates. Today in Donetsk and Lugansk, which have both declared themselves independent republics, there are some 1,600 welfare clients in constant need of life-sustaining aid such as extra food, water, and medications. Astoundingly, workers from JDC affiliates called Heseds continue to provide for them and the 1,500 others in the periphery.
Thursday, September 04, 2014
UKRAINIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY DECIMATED
The Times of Israel reports that eastern Ukraine's Jewish community feels very uneasy in the wake of Russia's retake of the area since the time it went more into the hands of Ukraine in the 1950s:
Posted by Avi Green at 10:26 PM