Putin ordered conscription, and the Jews flee to Israel: "Let's hope nothing happens to us when we return"
Roman left Russia on the first day of the war, immediately upon receiving a conscription order.
Thousands of Jews who wish to immigrate to Israel bypass the usual queues at the consulate and board a flight in a hurry to any possible destination on the way to Israel.
The bureaucracy is waiting for them here as well and it seems that it too has not yet adapted to the new reality
Sunday, October 02, 2022, 18:40 Updated: 18:43
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In the video: Russian President Vladimir Putin and the representatives of the four districts after the announcement of the annexation (Photo: Reuters)
It is difficult to estimate precisely how many citizens have left Russia in the last two weeks, since President Vladimir Putin announced the recruitment of reservists for the army, but it is probably more than a hundred thousand, several thousand of whom are Jewish residents of the country.
Some of them have already arrived in Israel, but most of those who want to immigrate to Israel are still in Russian territory or on their way, because out of fear they left without waiting for the settlement procedure.
"I have dual citizenship, Russian-Israeli, and my story is a little different, because I already did it in 2018, and immediately after that I left for Los Angeles to study," says Lavala!
The 23-year-old musician Roman Belov, the lead singer of the band "From Scratch".
"But in 2020, because of the corona virus, everything collapsed and I had to return to Moscow. I left Russia again in February. On the first day of the war, I packed everything, took my 21-year-old girlfriend and we arrived in Israel. She is not Jewish, but we got married in May and now we are working on her paperwork."
Blov has a sharp criticism of the Russian president.
"What Putin is doing now are terrible and terrible things that no one has done since Hitler. We grew up believing that the Russian army would only go into battle if we were attacked, and suddenly we found ourselves in a situation where our army is the aggressor."
He does not know what will happen to him if and when he returns to Russia.
"Tel Aviv welcomed me with a big hug. I have never served in the army and I never want to serve. If I return to Russia now it is not clear what will happen to me. Officially they say it is a reserve recruitment for those who were in the army, but in reality they do not care and take everyone - sick, People who have never owned a gun, every single one of them. If I'm lucky, nothing will happen to me when I come back. But equally if I get a warrant because of the new law and I don't show up then I face ten years in prison. Many really go to prison because they'd rather prison than lose their their lives".
Vehicles at the Finland-Russia border (Photo: Reuters)
Boris, 39 years old, a paramedic by profession, immigrated to Israel with his wife Natalia two days ago.
"We've been thinking about going up for a long time and even submitted documents, but because of the situation we decided not to wait even a minute," he said as he left the Ministry of the Interior in Haifa.
"You can call it an escape. All along the way we were accompanied by a terrible fear that they wouldn't let us leave or that they would send us back. We heard about cases where people we knew were arrested and at every stop at the airport they weren't allowed to leave. If I had stayed, then one hundred percent they would have drafted me into the army and sent me to war even though that I never served in the army. I don't want to serve, I don't support this war. But no one asks me."
According to him, they immigrated to Israel, while their family remained in Russia.
"We left our daughter and parents, got up and drove. We left the apartment, the car. The saddest thing is the dogs, we left them with the daughter. We arrived with two suitcases. We are very confused. We have nothing, not even credit cards. We are staying with a friend in Haifa. It's a feeling of terrible sadness. A feeling of hanging in the air and not knowing what and who. We have now left the Ministry of the Interior. After two and a half hours, all we managed to do was that they made an appointment for another two months, for a consular inspection. What then? We want to understand what we are supposed to do now that we are new, without work, No money, no apartment."
Demonstrators arrested after protests erupted following the decision to recruit Russians (Photo: Reuters)
Tal, 23 years old, was born in Israel but as a child moved with his mother to Moscow, where she returned after she was widowed and remarried there.
He was educated in a Jewish school and continued to visit his grandparents who remained in Israel but the center of his life remained in Russia.
"Already in April, I received two draft orders. They told me to come urgently for an interview. I was living with my girlfriend at the time and the orders were sent to the address of my mother and stepfather, who immediately panicked that God forbid I would be drafted. Within a day they put me on a plane to Israel and since then I have been here, living In Tel Aviv. Making a studio and working as a courier at Walt. Waiting for them to arrange a voucher for my university studies. If I go back to Moscow they will send me to the war, to the front, that's clear. So for now I'm here. I hope everything will be over with this whole Putin war and that I can at least come back to visit. My brothers have arrived From Moscow. And my 26-year-old cousin received a draft order a week or two ago, and immediately got on a plane. I have no idea what my status is there now, one can only speculate."
"What he is doing now has not been done since Hitler."
Putin after the announcement of the annexation (Photo: Reuters)
"Those who apply now in Russia to immigrate to Israel are scheduled for an interview with the consul for 2023," says Tatiana John, a social activist from Haifa who has been helping immigrants from the former Soviet Union for years. "There is also a big problem with those who have already fled here, and now want to convert their tourist visa for immigrant status. There are very long lines here as well, at the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Absorption. In the meantime, they are in tourist status - they do not receive anything. But they need to rent an apartment, need health insurance, need a job. And if God forbid they are fourth generation - then put They have an X on the application form. The criteria are unclear, unequal and seem even self-interested," she Malina, "For example, a father contacted me whose daughter represented Israel in table tennis and won medals - she received a visa, and the son was refused and informally told that he has no chance. Most of them do not Asking for an absorption basket, not asking for money, but needing a country of refuge for this period. There they are marked with the label 'Jew'And they feel that here they are spitting in their face."
The Deputy Mayor of Ashdod, the lawyer Eli Nacht, one of his occupations is legal assistance with the Ministry of the Interior and other authorities and organizations, ten days ago sent a letter to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, in which he called on him to act urgently with the Russian government to allow thousands of Russian citizens who hold Even with an Israeli passport to leave Russia immediately.
He received a standard response from the "public inquiries department", that "at this point the borders are open to citizens, including of course Israeli citizens who can leave Russia independently".
Meanwhile, in an unusual announcement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced to the public that "an Israeli citizen who also holds Russian citizenship and who enters, stays, or will stay in the territory of the Russian Federation, is subject to the law and regulations in Russia, including decisions concerning the recruitment of citizens to the Russian army and the possibility of leaving the territory of the country."
The announcement implies that Nacht's request will not be supported.
His wife Ina Nacht, who is an intern at his office and is in contact with many immigrants, says that, "There is great anxiety for everyone who is supposed to leave. Our phone started ringing like crazy from the day Putin announced a general conscription. It had never been like this before, not even at the beginning of the war. In my estimation In the last two weeks, thousands of them left on their way to Israel. But some of them are stuck in Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Finland. Many people in Moscow do not want to wait in lines at the consulate there and leave independently. 'Nativ' in the Prime Minister's Office did a good job and opened bureaus in the countries The neighbors benefit those who fled to Israel through them.
But unfortunately in Israel they are also encountering difficulties while trying to separate refugees from those entitled to Shabbat.
We only heard in the last few days about a young man who arrived in Tel Aviv on a flight and was deported back, claiming that he was told insensitively, 'Go fight Russia.'"
"This is a very sensitive and complex issue, it would be very simplistic to examine it only from our angle," says attorney Mordechai Tsibin, who is well-versed in the field. "The impression that those fleeing from Russia to Israel are Jews is contrary to the factual reality since the vast majority of those arriving in Israel are not Jews at all.
Such a false image is the basis for the strengthening of anti-Semitic phenomena on the grounds that the Jews are 'betraying the homeland' and 'ungrateful for the fact that the Russian authorities allow local Judaism to flourish and develop, complete freedom of religion and even government aid'.
It should be emphasized that escaping the conscription obligation in Russia has nothing to do with being Jewish or not, and tell them you don't have a sister."
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