CAUGHT RED-HANDED: Corrupt Officials Forced Chassidim To Pay Bribes On Ukrainian Border

Photo: Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU)

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, commercial flights came to a grinding halt and anyone entering or leaving the country has to do land border crossings to and from neighboring countries, such as Moldova, Poland, Romania and Hungary.

Over the past few months, tourists and especially Breslover chassidim, have been detained without reason at the Ukrainian/Moldovan border crossing by customs officers and border police. The unscrupulous officials would then suggest to the detainees, many of whom were at risk of missing their flights, to end their detainment by paying bribes.

On Tuesday, it was announced that over recent months, the Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) launched an undercover investigation into corrupt border crossing officials demanding bribes from tourists entering and leaving Ukraine, especially Israelis visiting religious sites.

After the investigation was opened, border officials and police officers were caught red-handed illegally collecting money from tourists, including Chassidim on their way to Uman. The culprits were arrested and criminal proceedings have been initiated against them.

In the course of the arrest, evidence and cash were seized, including bills from various countries rolled up to a small size that the corrupt officials demanded. The amount of the bribe being demanded at the time of the arrests was $700 in cash.

According to the statement of the Ukrainian security services, it is suspected that after Rosh Hashanah, when chassidim were crossing the Ukrainian/Moldovan border to catch flights back to Israel, corrupt border officials purposely detained tourists, deliberately and unjustifiably delaying them at customs and border control posts by searching their documents, personal belongings, clothing, and luggage. Officials also unjustifiably carried out searches of vehicles, taxis, and buses in order to extort the passengers and force them to pay bribes of $150 to $500 and even more per vehicle.

The investigation is now in its last stages, including searches of the offices of the Bilgorod-Dnistrovsky customs post, as well as the homes of the suspects.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. For those who live or have family in Ukraine and MUST travel its really difficult and deserving of our concern but for those coming as tourists or want to visit for other reasons and knowingly putting themselves at risk, at some point you have to conclude that they’ve been warned and really don’t have much sympathy. If any are detained on phony charges, it will also require intervention by the governments of their countries putting others at risk

  2. nothing really new…Mexico and other criminal countries with restrictions are no different……the sad part is Ukraine is truly one of the only unforgiving countries that has side stepped their role in rectification of what they did to the Jews during the war, after the war, to this date….for me…..I stand with Hashem

  3. Sickening lashing hara against the brightest light in the western world.

    I plead the accusers make tshuva and recant these slanders against this heroic nation. Remember they are solely defending us from the menace of Russia!

  4. > I personally hope Russia crushes them.

    Pardon me, are we having mods here just to make sure that we h’v hear kol isha on a music video? Calls to murder are OK?

  5. I’m so happy the truth comes out about the real mafias and nazis.

    We knew it a long time that Ukrainians hands are red from jewish blood. They well deserve a good lecture from President Putin.