In recent weeks, the Jewish kehilla in Moldova, led by Chief Rabbi HaRav Pinchas Saltzman, has been making extensive preparations for the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the aim of absorbing thousands of Jews fleeing the war zone.
Following the start of the war on Wednesday, community leaders said: “We’re ready with a fleet of buses to transport Jews from Ukraine to Moldova, with food supplies, emergency medical teams, hotels that have already been rented, and additional shelters to absorb hundreds of people.”
A statement issued by the community added that “the preparations were coordinated by the Chief Rabbi of Moldova with Israel’s Foreign and Diaspora Ministries and Jewish organizations such as the Jewish Agency and the Joint. Community members are also deployed on the border crossings between Moldova and Ukraine and at the airport in order to provide immediate emergency assistance to refugees.”
However, Moldovan Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said on Wednesday that Moldovan airspace will be closed from 12 p.m.
Additionally, Moldovan President Maia Sandu asked parliament on Wednesday to declare a state of emergency in the wake of the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine, adding that Moldova is ready to absorb tens of thousands of people.
Moldova, a former Soviet satellite, is one of Europe’s poorest countries.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)