In a special interview with Arutz Sheva, the Rabbi of the city of Kharkov in Ukraine, Rabbi Moshe Moskowitz, discussed the concerns of Jews in the city in the wake of the recent unrest in Kharkov, and the fact that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych took refuge there.
Rabbi Moskwitz said that the community was “fine,” despite the unrest. The community is hopeful that the matter is now settled, and that Kharkov will not be the focus of further protests, given the decision of Yanukovych to pass through the city as he attempted to leave Ukraine.
Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been released from prison and is likely to be Ukraine's next premier, has had very good relations with the Jewish community in the past, Rabbi Moskwitz said. However, he said, many of her supporters are anti-Semitic. Rabbi Moskwitz said that he hopes that this will not be a problem for the Jewish community in the coming days.
“The leaders of small communities in Ukraine have been leading their communities with great self-sacrifice,” he said. In Kharkov itself, Rabbi Moskwitz said, the community is busy preparing for the upcoming Purim holiday.
His job, Rabbi Moskwitz said, as a Chabad community leader, was to provide leadership for Jews in the city who live there. However, he said, a number of Jews have already expressed a desire to leave Ukraine and emigrate to Israel. The unrest of recent month is what has brought this desire to the fore, he said.