CORONAVIRUS: UKRAINE ACCUSES BELARUS OVER STRANDED JEWISH PILGRIMS

Ukraine has accused Belarus of stoking tension over hundreds of Hasidic Jewish pilgrims stranded at their border.

The office of Ukraine’s president said Belarus was spreading false hope that the pilgrims could cross. Belarus wants a corridor to be opened for them.

The pilgrims are trying to travel to the town of Uman for the Jewish New Year, to pay respects at the tomb of the founder of a Hasidic movement.

Ukraine has closed its borders to foreigners to limit Covid-19.

The restrictions apply from 28 August to 28 September.

Ukraine-Belarus relations soured after Ukraine joined the EU in refusing to recognise the re-election of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko last month.

Israel, meanwhile, is the first country to impose a second nationwide Covid-19 lockdown – set to start on Friday – after a large spike in infections.

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