6 May 2022

Run to escape… stories of people escaping the war.

The Jewish Community of the Republic of Moldova has already opened more than ten temporary accommodation centers for arriving residents of Ukraine and continues to supply our tribesmen with everything necessary, including arranging sleeping places, providing food, medical care and support.
Recently, a new such center was opened in Chisinau, on Pan Khalippa Street, 3. More than 100 people can stay here, relax, get the necessary help. There is also a distribution of arrivals in various directions: repatriation to Israel, transit to Romania, moving to Germany or to other temporary accommodation centers in Moldova. Volunteers are at the center all the time and are ready to help at any time.
More than hundreds of thousands of people have crossed the border with the Republic of Moldova. It is impossible to listen to their stories of flight from the war without sinking your heart.

Natalia Leonidovna came from Nikolaev with her six-year-old son and a disabled mother. They were forced to leave their home. For 8 hard days, they hid from the explosions in the corridor of their apartment, hiding only with an orthopedic mattress. Natalia knew perfectly well that this would not save them, but at least sometimes it seemed like this: “We are safe.” There was no more strength to survive this horror and she took responsibility to leave the country together with her mother and son.

–  Everything was stable, everything was good. I worked as a psychologist at the Jewish school Or Menachem. When this horror began … it was very scary,  – Natalya says with tears and a trembling voice. – For the first 3 days we spent the night in a shelter. Mom slept on the concrete floor on a blanket. Then we decided to hide in the basement of a neighboring house. It was very scary to return home with a child when the air raid alert was cancelled. Then we decided to just sit in the corridor. I don’t know how many days we sat like this. The blinds were drawn and we didn’t know if it was day or night. On March 5, the Jewish Community wrote that there would be an evacuation. On the same day, the governor wrote that tornadoes had been directed at us, and in the evening there was an air raid warning, and the governor wrote that bombers were flying. Then we made this difficult decision. Mom is 76 years old, she has lived in Ukraine all her life. She was hysterical, she refused to leave and said that she would not survive this trip. In fact, she became very ill on the road, but the volunteers helped us a lot. We were met by an ambulance, an injection was given to my mother and we were brought here in an ambulance to a temporary residence center .. It’s scary …, – the tears flowed down our cheeks again, – The bus stop where I went to work from … it is destroyed … In the park where I walked for six years with my son … unexploded shells …

Natalya Leonidovna, together with her mother and six-year-old son, will leave for Germany, to the father of the child, he is also a Jew. They often went to visit him during the holidays, and now they will leave to escape the war. Natalya says that, of course, it’s good there, but everything is alien, not native. They plan to return home to Ukraine as soon as the whole nightmare is over.

War knows no age. Misha, a fifteen-year-old teenager, made his way from Kharkov to Chisinau and plans to leave for Israel.

Misha from Kharkov

– I was in Kharkov with my grandmother. Then my mom tells me that if you want to fly somewhere, then this is the time. And I decided to fly to Israel. Mom said, “Go to the train station, take the train to Odessa and go.” Well, I did. I came to Odessa. Then my mother found buses provided by the Jewish Community, and I came here. I plan to go to Israel for a one-year study program. I will definitely be there for a year, and then, I hope, I will return home. In Kharkov, quite often something explodes. There were shots fired almost into the neighboring yards from our house.  I went down to the bomb shelter 2 times…

Natasha and Anya met on the bus on the way to Chisinau. They are both from Mykolaiv and both were forced to flee. Run to escape.

– We had to run away, because there is already such a situation in our city … not very good. The shelling of houses has already begun. I had to run myself, my parents did not want to go. I thought about leaving either Israel or Poland. The Jewish Community is generally well done, everything was organized so cool. I didn’t intend to go at all, but I found out and somehow we quickly decided that we had to go. The group wrote to us that there is a bus. First we were brought to Odessa, we spent the night. A group gathered and we arrived in Chisinau. From here I will go to Poland, and maybe even to Israel. Natasha shared her story. Anya said that about five high-rise buildings in Nikolaev had already been destroyed, not counting private sectors and not counting military units. She also did not plan to leave, but she became afraid for her life. The decision was made in seconds.

–  There are many dead, – Anya began her story in a trembling voice, – I have a friend, a neighbor, left to serve. Was online on March 2. We called to find out what’s wrong with him. The guy’s gone. And it’s not just one guy… a lot of them. It is unclear only for what and to what it will lead… 

Left – Anya, right – Natasha

Every day more than 1,000 members of the Jewish communities of Ukraine come to Moldova. The Jewish Community of the Republic of Moldova is doing everything possible to ensure a temporary comfortable stay for our compatriots from Ukraine. We will be grateful if you support us so that we continue to be close to those who need our help so much today.

!אנחנו מתפללים לשלום