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Hundreds of men and boys danced and sang songs during the night. Her luggage was piled in fields on either side of the road. The men tried to convince the border guards to let them through to celebrate the New Year, the most important religious holiday for Hasidim. Little boys, looking bored and sleepy, stood by and watched.

Some of the pilgrims had traveled to the Novi Yarylovychi border crossing believing it was open, which it was not, Israel Public Broadcasting tweeted. The Ukrainian authorities said the foreigners had been warned about the border closure.

The Ukrainian Border Guard said 690 pilgrims had gathered along the border by Tuesday, and the agency's director Serhiy Deyneko said more were expected on charter flights in Belarus. Belarusian media reported a different number of pilgrims at the border, saying about 1,500 had already arrived.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said the border closure will be enforced until it expires on September 28. The country reported nearly 20,000 new virus cases in the past week, bringing the total to more than 160,000, according to a Times database.

Reporting was written by Sarah Almukhtar, Matt Apuzzo, Emma Bubola, Emily Cochrane, Nicholas Fandos, Antonella Francini, Rick Gladstone, Jennifer Jett, Anemona Hartocollis, Eric Lipton, Salman Masood, Donald G. McNeil Jr., Constant Méheut, and Claire Moses . Eshe Nelson, Norimitsu Onishi, Gaia Pianigiani, Roni Caryn Rabin, Campbell Robertson, Amanda Rosa, Christopher F. Schütze, Michael D. Shear, Jeanna Smialek, Eileen Sullivan, Glenn Thrush, Maria Varenikova, Sui-Lee Wee, Ceylan Yeginsu and Elaine Yu.


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