Ultra-Orthodox Jew enlists in Ukrainian army to fight Russian invasion

David Cherkassky, who hails from one of Europe's largest Jewish communities, tells Ynet he was too young to enlist in 2014 when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, but now he intends to protect his country against Russian aggression
Attila Somfalvi|
When Russia attacked Ukraine last Thursday, in the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two, Ukrainian-born David Cherkassky had no qualms about enlisting in the military to fight the invasion.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • Cherkassky is an ultra-Orthodox Jew who lives in eastern Ukraine. His father enlisted into the military in 2014 when the Russians invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula and the brave man wanted to follow in the father's footsteps.
    2 View gallery
    דוד צ'רקסי ואביו
    דוד צ'רקסי ואביו
    Haredi David Cherkassky and his father, both members of Ukraine's military
    "I wanted to enlist in 2014, but I was too young," he tells Ynet an interview.
    "This is our country and many Jews live in it. We are about 300 kilometers from Donetsk [proclaimed as The Donetsk People's Republic by Russian separatists who control it] and I think we have the largest Jewish community in Europe," he says.
    Cherkassky said the Jewish community was organized in 1991, when rabbi Shmuel Kamintzky from the Chabad movement came to town after the fall of the Soviet Union.
    The Jewish community in Ukraine is estimated to be 250,000 strong.
    2 View gallery
    לוהנסק בדלנים לוחמי מליציה פרו רוסית משבר מלחמה רוסיה אוקראינה
    לוהנסק בדלנים לוחמי מליציה פרו רוסית משבר מלחמה רוסיה אוקראינה
    Russian separatists in Luhansk in eastern Ukraine
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "If we find Russians in our town, we must capture them, kill them. We may be deployed in Kyiv or wherever there is fighting," he says.
    When asked if he fears of what may happen, Cherkassky says anyone who is not afraid in this situation is "a fool".
    "I've seen people die since 2014, some have lost limbs, so yes, I am afraid," he says.
    "You can speak to someone one day and hear that he was killed the next."
    The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.