With fighting raging across Ukraine, Rabbi Nissim Padosky left his house in Kiev along with 100s of other Jews and fled to Mezuboz, the burial place of the Chassidic Master the Baal Shem Tov.
Mezuboz is a sleepy old village that is normally quiet, but even there Rabbi Padosky says he can hear the bombs falling. Unlike many Ukrainians asking for weapons or food, the Rabbi wants us to give only one thing – our prayers.
The war, which began Thursday morning, started after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent the Russia army into Eastern Ukraine to protect the newly independent statelets of Donetsk and Luhansk. From there the conflict escalated with Russia invading the entirety of Ukraine from the South by Odessa and the North from Belarus.
Russia sees Ukraine as a Western “occupied” slavic country that had been in the past part of Russia and the Ukrainians see themselves as a separate nation. For its part NATO had been building up Ukraine in the hope that in the next few years it would be able to combat Russia directly on behalf of the Cold War alliance.
While the war continues to rage, most observer belief that Russia should be able to conquer the whole of Ukraine over the next few days.
Today marks the first day that Russian troops penetrated into Ukraine’s capital of Kiev. The soldiers were airdropped late yesterday near Kiev and have already reached the far within the city.