On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a delegation of the Ukrainian Veterans Organization (World War II veterans who fought in the Soviet Union army against the Nazis) arrived in Kyiv on Wednesday in order to mark the historic day with the local Jewish community.
How the Jewish community is helping Ukraine
The veterans, including former senior officers of the former Soviet Army, have been in close contact with the Kyiv Jewish community for many years and especially with the city’s Chief Rabbi and Chabad emissary Jonatan Markovich. “In the past year, the Jewish community has extended its patronage to the organization and is helping them with food, warm clothing and helping them humanitarian throughout the war,” a member of the Kyiv Jewish community said.
91-year-old Colonel Valentin Timpoievich awarded Rabbi Markowitz a medal for his “activity and courage for the Jews of Kyiv and the citizens of Ukraine,” according to a press release from the community. Timpoievich said that "we represent 25,000 soldiers, men and women, who fought the Nazis when they wanted to destroy the Jewish people.” He concluded emotionally by stating that “nowadays, the Jewish community, led by you, are saving us."
Markovich said during the event that "while the whole world is celebrating the victory over the Nazis, we must not forget the heroes who saved the world from the hand of evil." He added that "Ukraine has been under aggressive violence for almost a year. Our job is to help out and provide aid and food, shelter, winter equipment and warm clothing to the residents and for those in need. The connection of the Jewish community with the veterans of World War II is based on deep gratitude to the heroes and the Jewish duty to help save the life of every one of them.”
Explosions continued in Ukraine over the weekend. Early Thursday, sirens were heard throughout the country, and in the morning, an air attack was carried out over the capital city of Kyiv. Several civilians were killed. One of the rockets fell near the synagogue of the Jewish community JCC Chabad, while they were in the middle of morning prayer.