Two Ukrainian Jews killed in shelling in Lugansk

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Two members from the same Jewish family were killed in shelling in the embattled eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk.

The victims of the July 18 explosion were identified on the website of the Jewish community of Lugansk as Svetlana and Anna Sitnikov.

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“They stood at a crosswalk with other civilians and just walked into a store,” the announcement read. One of the victims had a four-year-old son, Vadim Sitnikov, the website said.

The news site reported Sunday that Rabbi Shalom Gopin, Chabad’s emissary to Lugansk, was trying to bring the deceased to burial but that city officials had not yet authorized the event.

Gopin was not immediately available for comment.

Lugansk is among a number of cities in eastern Ukraine where the government is fighting pro-Russian separatists who took up arms after the ousting late February of former president Viktor Yanukovych in a revolution that erupted in November over his alleged corruption and close ties with the Kremlin in Russia.

Since fighting erupted, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Community of Dnepropetrovsk have helped more than 650 flee battle zones in eastern Ukraine, settling them in community institutions or providing alternative housing solutions in addition to food, medicine and counseling to help children cope with trauma.

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