WASHINGTON — Using both airplanes and overland routes, Israel has evacuated nearly all the Jews from strife-torn Chechnya, Jewish sources said Monday.
Hundreds left the secessionist Russian republic, the last several dozen amid fierce fighting between Russian forces and Chechen rebels. The capital, Grozny, was the most difficult area to evacuate Jews from, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The operation was conducted over several months with the secrecy that marked Israel's rescue of Jews from Ethiopia in recent years and from Afghanistan after the Russian invasion of 1979, as well as the evacuation of nearly the entire Jewish population of Iraq after the founding of the Jewish state in 1948.
Israel applied its "right of return" to give haven to the Chechen Jews and their children.