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Jewish Ukrainian soldier killed fighting Russian forces

Top rabbi announces last month’s death of Vladislav Shain, who wore a Star of David patch with ‘Ukraine’ written in Hebrew on his uniform

An undated photo shows Jewish Ukrainian soldier Vladislav Shain praying with tefillin (Courtesy Rabbi Moshe Azman)
An undated photo shows Jewish Ukrainian soldier Vladislav Shain praying with tefillin (Courtesy Rabbi Moshe Azman)

A Jewish Ukrainian soldier was killed last month fighting Russian forces, a spokesman for top Ukrainian rabbi Moshe Azman said Thursday.

Vladislav Shain, 21, was active in the Jewish community in Dnipro, according to Azman.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine said Shain studied at law school and was an accomplished judoka, winning a number of local tournaments.

It added that he volunteered to fight on the front days after Russia launched its invasion on February 24.

There were no details regarding how he was killed.

Pictures of Shain showed a blue and yellow patch adorning his military gear that included a Star of David with Ukraine’s national symbol inside it, with the country’s name written in Hebrew. In one image, Shain is seen in uniform with a kippa and phylacteries as he prays in a wooded area.

“Vladislav gave his life defending his nation,” said Azman. “He fought bravely since the beginning of the invasion.”

According to the federation, dozens of Jewish soldiers are believed to have been killed in the fighting, including an Israeli citizen whose body was returned in October as part of a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia.

Azman said Ukraine’s Jewish community has been praying for wounded soldiers and for an end to the war. He called on the world to intervene in the conflict and press a ceasefire.

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