Ukrainian-Israeli soldiers reunite with families in Moldova
'I will only see my mother because my father is a combatant in Ukraine,' says one Ukrainian-Israeli soldier
In the days leading up to the Jewish New Year, young Ukrainian-Israeli soldiers were reunited with their families in the country of Moldova, who traveled from war-torn Ukraine.
The Keren Layedidout, a philanthropic association, financed and organized the trip so that families could be reunited for four days before the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana.
Some 19 isolated soldiers who arrived in Israel years ago traveled from Ben Gurion Airport to see their relatives who remained in Ukraine, despite the ongoing war with Russia.
"I will only see my mother because my father is a combatant in Ukraine; he holds a guard post near Zaporijjia. He is forced to stay there. I haven't seen my parents for a year," says Georgi, who is serving in the Israeli military.
In order to see their children safely again, the parents must cross the border.
"I'm excited. I can't believe I'm going to see them. It's hard to escape from Zaporijjia; it's quite a dangerous area," says another soldier, Yeva.
The plane carrying the soldiers landed in the Moldovan capital of Kishinev in the middle of the night, while the parents were on their way to Moldova in two buses chartered by Keren Layedidout, one from Kyiv, the other from Odesa. For some families, the journey from Ukraine lasted 24 hours.
The reunion took place in a hotel in the Moldavian capital, with stunning displays of emotion.
However, the soldiers and their relatives are not able to celebrate the Jewish New Year together this year. After four days spent together in Moldova, some will leave for Ukraine and others for Israel.