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Ukraine Rabbi: Jewish Men Likely to Be Drafted for Possible War

The Ukraine Jewish community was steeling itself for troubled times, said Rabbi Moshe Wasserman, the Chief Rabbi of the country.
By David Lev
First Publish: 3/3/2014, 9:26 AM

Anti-government protestors, police clash in Ukraine
Anti-government protestors, police clash in Ukraine
Reuters

As tensions continued to mount in Ukraine, the Jewish community was steeling itself for troubled times, said Rabbi Moshe Wasserman, the Chief Rabbi of the country. “The situation in the community is very tense,” he said. “We are on the verge of a war with Russia. Men are being summoned to draft boards, and a large number of Jews are eligible for the draft. The situation is very complicated.”

According to witnesses, Russia now has a large force in Crimea, and is effectively in control of the area. Now, Ukrainian defense officials fear that Russia may invade part of Ukraine proper, something Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted at when he spoke at length with President Barack Obama over the weekend.

A top US military official was quoted in the American media as saying that Russia had some 6,000 troops in Crimea, and was in control of its water and airports. Ukraine has gone on full military alert, with Ukraine's Secretary of the National Security and Defense of Andriy Parubiy saying Sunday that the reservists will be trained immediately to defend the embattled country's borders. “It is essential to train all combat forces to full readiness,” Parubiy urged. “We have already asked the Foreign Ministry to seek help from the United States and Britain to secure our country.”

Some of those reservists are likely to be called up from the Jewish community, Rabbi Wasserman said. “There is a lot of tension right now. We need a miracle now, during the Jewish month of Adar, which is the month of miracles.”