Jewish Migration to Israel from Troubled Ukraine Spikes

The number of Jews emigrating to Israel from increasingly volatile Ukraine has jumped by 142 percent this year so far compared to 2013, the Jewish Agency said Sunday.

A total of 762 Jews from Ukraine arrived in Israel in the first four months of the year, compared to 315 in the first quarter of 2013, a spokesman for the quasi-government agency said.

As the crisis worsened in Ukraine, the number of arrivals rose dramatically in March and April and more are expected in the coming months, the spokesman added.

"The number of individuals who have formally begun the immigration process is up even more dramatically, as is the number of individuals who have requested information on immigrating to Israel," he added.

The spokesman said this was due "to the uncertainty created by the current situation" in Ukraine, where violence has spread to several parts of the country following the overthrow of a pro-Russian leader in February.

In February the Jewish Agency said it had sent funds to boost security for the 200,000-strong Jewish community living in Ukraine, including for the purchase of surveillance systems.

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