The Cruelest Price of War
Yael Eckstein | February 27, 2023
The ongoing war in Ukraine began one year ago. And while the world’s focus may no longer be on the war-torn nation, Yael writes at The Jerusalem Post of the moving people and powerful stories that we are still seeing on the ground as The Fellowship continues to provide aid for those whose lives have been upended:
It was one year ago when I stood in a synagogue in central Kyiv, surrounded by Jewish leaders and security professionals. As we stood before a big map of the region, they showed me where over 100,000 Russian soldiers were gathering, with the assessment that Russia would try to annex eastern Ukraine in the coming weeks.
“What route would they take if they attacked Kyiv?” I asked innocently. They all laughed. “No one is attacking Kyiv,” they answered confidently. Just a few days later, they were all proven wrong.
Lots have changed since the early days of the war when busloads of Jewish women and children were taken through fields and back-roads in attempts to escape the constant bombardment. I no longer get frantic phone calls from Jewish orphanages in Ukraine, needing to escape their towns in the middle of the night.
Elderly Holocaust survivors are no longer closing their eyes in prayer, resigned to an imminent death due to the war. And we can see by the currently calm border crossings that the urgency for evacuation has dissipated.
But don’t let these things fool you; one year later, the struggles for the over 150,000 Jews still in Ukraine have only grown…