Kyiv – Humans are optimistic in nature, killing thousands already, causing enormous damage to dozens of cities and villages, and uprooting millions of people. At least 3 million foreign refugees and millions are internally displaced.
refugees They tend to be optimistic, at least for the first few days in strange countries, as they stick to the belief that they will return home soon.
We faced this optimism this week So many places in Ukraine, And its outside. It starts with Odyssan’s grandmother, who is currently evacuating to Kisinau, Moldova, and prefers to stay there despite being eligible to move to Israel. She has Jewish ancestry, but she wants to stay near the city where she was born, hoping for her quick return.
Democracy or Putin: “Israel must choose the Ukrainian side”
We noticed this prospect in the young reserve Mykolaiv, who sent the baby to Romania with his mother, but stayed at the forefront of the city to help organize supplies for the 500,000 inhabitants. rice field.
Then, a 51-year-old businessman flew to Italy with his wife and three children and confirmed that he could comfortably rent at sea before returning to volunteering as an ambulance driver.
It’s a natural optimism, but it also stems from the unique factors of this war that can be temporary. One is the fact that while Russian missile attacks have hit almost every part of Ukraine, this is still a very large country that continues to function in most places.
All Ukrainian citizens feel war Due to curfew, alcohol sales ban, school and government closures. But only a few Ukrainians have seen the end of the war. Supply chains have collapsed and shortages have occurred, but food is available almost everywhere, not just electricity, water, fuel and telecommunications, except in some completely besieged towns.
Even on Thursday, the 22nd day of the battle, I was able to drive the south side of the Kyiv-Odessa highway, which connects the Black Sea coast and the capital, for two hours without realizing that the war was taking place. There was no pressure on a well-equipped gas station, and the adjacent convenience store had a large selection.
Outside the city, no military obstacles are encountered, and the only sign of war is the lack of road signs removed by the military in the hope of confusing when Russian armor pillars come. was.
Most Ukrainians can still cling to the illusion of almost normal life. If the war touches them in the form of Russian bombs or tank shells, optimism may not hold.
Another factor that will certainly change quickly is the lack of bad news from the Ukrainian side of the battlefield. For the past three weeks, both domestic and international media have focused on Russia’s military failure. A defective war plan, an armored vehicle trapped in mud with an empty gas tank, has become an easy target for the Ukrainian anti-tank team. Few reports have been made of significant losses on the part of Ukraine in trying to prevent Russia from advancing.
The Kyiv government strictly controls the message of the local media to prevent foreign journalists from being at the forefront. The predominant image is the image of civilian casualties that support international support for Ukraine and its determination to continue fighting. Hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of Ukrainian soldiers have died on the battlefield. Their bodies have not yet been collected or are in the frontline morgue.
Very few military funerals have been held so far, and of the 42 million Ukrainians, relatively few actually know that someone was killed in the war. Maintaining optimism will become more difficult as more accurate numbers and details of Ukrainian casualties, both civilian and military, begin to arrive.
However, Ukrainians have few illusions. They are very aware that the collapse of the army will also occur. In conversations with Ukrainians, the phrase “what happened in 2014” is repeated. They find it still difficult to talk about humiliation with little opposition when Russia occupies and annexes Crimean. It then invaded eastern Ukraine, pushing back poorly equipped, poorly trained and unmotivated Ukrainian troops.
Over the last eight years, with a determination to clean up the dirt of 2014, the Ukrainian army has modernized its weapons system, adopted new military doctrine, and reviewed its communications and surveillance infrastructure. Memories of 2014 are also an important motivation for civilians who are ready to make huge sacrifices to prevent the recurrence of their defeat.
Those who expect Ukrainians to sign a humiliating peace agreement (including Naftali Bennett and his team, who will be intermediaries) are unlikely to be followed long by Russian President Vladimir Putin. But the 2014 repeats that Ukrainians need to consider their determination not to allow.
Exaggerated fear of Russia
More recently, there have been reports of significant Russian military movements from a South Ossetian base captured from Georgia during the 2008 War. The report is supported by footage of a military convoy heading west and a social media post by soldiers confirming that they are being sent to join a fellow fighting in Ukraine.
This is yet another sign of the increasing difficulty facing Russian troops on the front lines. Unlike young temporary drafts, there is a shortage of professional soldiers who can be deployed outside the border under Russian law. Low morale conscription is not very military-friendly anyway, and will only put more strain on logistics units that are struggling to supply food, fuel, and ammunition to frontline units.
At the same time, unconfirmed reports point to the significant withdrawal of some of the air crew and technical teams at the Russian air force base near Latakia, Syria. These experienced pilots and mechanics, who have helped the Assad regime bomb civilians since 2015, are now in need of a war with Ukraine. Russia’s current failure to successfully fight on multiple fronts and maintain significant overseas expansion should also trigger a reassessment of the “Russian threat” in Israel’s strategic thinking.
Israel’s fears of Russia preventing the Israeli Air Force from attacking Iran’s targets in Syria were already exaggerated in 2015, when Russia’s deployment began. Kremlin strategists were equally concerned that Israel, which has far more firepower in the region, would disrupt plans to save President Bashar Assad.
Then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately flew to Moscow to obtain Putin’s “permit” for Israel to continue its operations in Syrian airspace. Netanyahu contributed more than anyone to the image of Putin, an Israeli, in his desire to express himself as having strategic blindness and “a special relationship with my friends.”
Sadly, Bennett seems to inherit this fear from his predecessor. Hopefully he is then starting to grow.
Israeli Rescuers – And Incompatibility
Those who have visited the tomb of Rabbi Nuffman in Breslov Uman’s small town In Central Ukraine it is Extreme religion And anthropological experience. This is especially true for Prims, and is now in the midst of a war.
The “holy gathering” around the tomb usually counts the hundreds of Israelites who live there semi-permanently, with tens of thousands coming to the pilgrimage. However, no pilgrims have arrived at this time, and most of the inhabitants of Israel are leaving for Kyiv or Israel.
There are about 20 Israelites left, almost all of whom live in charity and are poor, embarrassed souls with nothing to lose. Some are teenagers running around without a regular framework.
Breslov Hasidism to be shocked or disgusted by drunks and wild dances to trance music in the inner sanctuary of the tomb next to the gray marble slabs of Rabbi Nafman’s tomb. It does not have to be. It is a place of prayer and dedication for many Jews. Even taking into account the tradition of drinking in Prim and the wartime situation, some of the dark aspects of the Uman’s pilgrimage reported in the past were fully exhibited this week.
Over the past few years, the Israeli government has spent much on the security of major annual pilgrimages at Rosh Hashanah, not to mention diplomatic efforts to ensure that the event takes place. During a pandemic.. It also has a duty of care to its abandoned citizens who are still in Uman’s, even if they are there by their own agreement, even if they are minors between them.
You meet many Israelis in Ukraine. Often in unexpected places, and even during the war. Many are dual citizens who emigrated to Israel and returned to the country where they were born for various reasons a few years later. Some are legitimate businessmen and some are employees of Jewish organizations or freelance operators who rescue people from the war zone.
However, some scammers, adventurers, and non-conforming people are cruising the front lines, which can always cause national confusion and dangerous diplomatic crises. There are “correctors” who vow to organize safe passages to Israel for a fee. And if you are a military-aged man who is forbidden to leave the country, these middlemen promise to give you a bribe that will be smuggled across national borders.
Israel’s popularity among ordinary Ukrainians, even praise, is hard to exaggerate. It manifests itself in all interviews and chance encounters. Israel is considered an independent country that thrived in a hostile environment, just as Ukrainians want to work with Russia’s neighbors.
Their criticism of the Israeli government’s neutral attitude towards war seems to have eroded these feelings, at least so far, while hesitating to accept refugees. But the actual contact with some of the Israelis trying to make money behind the suffering Ukrainians will almost certainly be.
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https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-ukrainians-memories-of-2014-keep-them-fighting-russia-hard-1.10683607 Kyiv Dispatch: Ukraine remembers 2014 and is determined not to repeat-Europe