A rescue airlift has begun to move casualties of the Ukraine conflict, especially Jewish victims, out of the country to Israeli hospitals. The first nine arrived Thursday night with gunshot wounds, the causes of which were not disclosed. The operation was organized by the United Hatzalah, which is responsible for protecting the Kiev Jewish community, and ZAKA, and led by Ukraine Chief Rabbi Reuven Azman and Hatzalah director Rabbi Hillel Cohen.
In response to their appeal, United Hatzalah and ZAKA in cooperation with the Isralife Foundation have been training Jewish volunteers in Kiev in emergency, as well as rescue and search techniques, in order to respond and provide aid in mass casualty emergencies in the event of an escalation of violence in the Ukraine. The Ukrainian participants in the program have also been trained to provide first aid, including protocols for giving CPR, and treating suffocation, burns and diseases. The program for the 200,000-strong Jewish community, the majority of which lives in Kiev, was put together in a matter of days.