Russians Search for Jewish Roots, to Flee Putin’s Army Draft for Israel
At a Red Cross center in Moscow, a dark-haired woman nervously held a phone to her ear, trying to dig out details about her Jewish roots to help her son flee President Vladimir Putin’s drive to mobilize troops to fight in Ukraine.
“Mum, your grandfather Moishe was born in 1870, like Lenin, right?” she asked. “Getting an Israeli passport is the only way for my son not to go to fight in Ukraine,” the exhausted woman, who declined to give her name for security reasons, explained.
Tens of thousands of Russians have fled the country since Putin sent troops to Ukraine in February and then announced a nationwide military call-up in September.
Many have scrambled to find their Jewish roots to open up the doors to Israel. Under Israel’s Law of Return, anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent is eligible for Israeli citizenship, as are people who convert to Judaism.
More than one million of Israel’s 9.4 million residents have roots in the former Soviet Union. Israel has said immigration applications from Russia and Ukraine have tripled since the conflict started. The Central Bureau of Statistics counted 20,000 arrivals from Russia and more than 12,000 from Ukraine, since the end of February. (TOI / VFI News)
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” - Psalm 4:8