In a humanitarian gesture, the Belarusian government set up huge tents and chemical toilets for the Breslover chassidim still waiting by the Ukrainian border in hopes of entering the country to spend Rosh Hashanah in Uman, B’Chadrei Chareidim reported.
Meanwhile, the Breslov leadership is supplying food and drinks to the chassidim and are continuing efforts to convince the Ukrainian government to allow the chassidim in.
It is unknown if an alternative plan has been arranged to house the chassidim for the swiftly approaching Rosh Hashanah.
On Tuesday, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, asked members of his government to contact Ukrainian authorities in order to obtain an assurance of “safe passage” for the Chassidim currently sitting on the border between the two countries. According to a report issued by the Press Secretary for the President, Natalya Eismont, Lukashenko said that his government was willing to take upon itself the logistics and responsibility of transferring the Chassidim to Uman safely.
“Belarus is willing to supply transportation in the form of busses that will take the pilgrims to their destination and return them directly to the airport for flights to their countries of origin. Our country is willing to take upon itself all of these responsibilities and to organize the process in the safest manner possible, in such a manner that it would not affect the status quo in Ukraine at all.”
As of Tuesday, hundreds of Chassidim were stuck in the demilitarized zone between the two counties and are facing Ukrainian soldiers on the border of their destination country. According to reports in the Israeli media, the situation between the soldiers and the Chassidim has become tense. The Chassidim are stuck without the option of returning to Belarus nor entering Ukraine.
Those present are calling upon the Israeli Foreign Ministry to intervene on behalf of the nearly 2,500 chassidim, including women and children. The food and water supplies available to the Chassidim are dwindling.
On Monday, a Red Cross truck delivered blankets and supplies to those Chassidim who were stuck sleeping on the side of the road near the Ukrainian border. The Breslov secretariat blamed the government of Israel for the situation, claiming that the government’s requests to the Ukrainain government not to allow the chassidim in led to the situation of facing foreign border patrols in order to enter Uman.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)