A Year After the Invasion, Jews in Ukraine Hang on to Optimism

The Fellowship  |  February 22, 2023

Jews in Ukraine, power outage, water shortage, a year after, one year
(Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv)

It’s been one year. The Russian invasion has left cities in Ukraine like Odesa with closed shops and traffic lights turned off. And in cities like Mykolaiv, citizens rely on water rations. Still, one year later, people are dealing with frequent power outages and water shortages. But assistance with aliyah (immigration to Israel) and food deliveries on the ground are giving Jews in Ukraine hope, a light in the darkness, reports Israel Hayom:

Anna Drinko does not have the privilege of drowning herself in escapism in her small, dark apartment where she lives with her two children, Dasha and Ewan. They had a 24-hour-long power outage just a day ago. She is now taking advantage of having electricity for who knows how long to do the laundry and charge cell phones.

Her husband, Alexei, enlisted in the Ukrainian army when the war broke out. Since then, Anna has put all her dreams and plans for the future on hold. They once dreamt of traveling the world. Today, the wallpaper on her apartment walls depicting famous cities is the only evidence of their shattered dreams. The last time they saw each other was when he surprised her and came home for Christmas. “I miss him very much. The children do too. All I want is for him to come home already, healthy and in one piece,” she said.

The family receives aid in the form of food packages. Her family is not the only one. Every month, Chabad, with the help of the Fellowship of Christians and Jews, distributes 5,000-7,000 food packages to the Odesa Jews. When the war broke out, the Fellowship raised about 30 million dollars and established emergency hotlines with the cooperation of local aid organizations such as Chabad and The Joint…

84-year-old Yelena, a known theatre actor in Odesa, tells us: “We were killed in World War II because we were Jews. Now we are being killed because we are Ukrainian. My generation’s life began with a war, and its end is also with one.”

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