World Jewish News
Newly arrived Kyrgyz family at a hotel in Jerusalem Monday, hours after their arrival from the strife-torn country. Photo by: Michal Fattal (Haaretz.com)
Kyrgyzstan violence spurs aliyah
Dimitri Volvinov, who immigrated to Israel on Sunday from Kyrgyzstan with his family, spoke on his arrival of the recent unrest in the country's capital, Bishkek. Riots in April led to the ouster of the country's president and thousands have been killed as ethnic tensions flared between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz this month.
"[Bishkek] is in anarchy," Bolvinov said, "and no one from the police or the government is intervening. Since the night of the coup we have sat entire days at home with windows and blinds closed and shaking with fear."
Volvinov, who arrived in Israel under the auspices of the Jewish Agency, spoke of rumors of further riots, which have recently been sparked by unrest between minority Uzbeks and Kyrgyz people near the border between the two countries.
Volvinov said he and his family had contemplated immigrating for some time, but the recent events pushed them into leaving immediately.
The Jewish Agency estimates that between 1,000 and 3,000 residents of Kyrgyzstan are eligible to immigrate to Israel. Agency chairman Natan Sharansky said since the outbreak of the unrest in Kyrgyzstan, 60 Jewish families there have begun the aliyah process. He said the Jewish Agency is following the situation closely.
By Liel Kyzer