Embassy Officials Helping Israelis Leave Ukraine via Western Border Crossing

After Russia invades Ukraine, Israeli Ambassador Michael Brodsky says ‘We had never imagined that such a thing was possible’

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Kyiv on Thurday morning. Credit: Emilio Morenatti/AP
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine, Michael Brodsky, stationed representatives at border crossings in the south and west of the country – leading into Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania – on Thursday morning to assist Israelis in Ukraine who are seeking to leave.

Brodsky called the Russian assault on Ukraine “the most extreme scenario” and acknowledged that he was surprised by the scope of the attack. “We hadn’t imagined that such a thing was possible. We thought there would be a limited operation,” he told Israeli Army Radio. Brodsky called on Israelis in Ukraine to leave on their own for a neighboring country.

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Brodsky told Kan Reshet Bet public radio that the Israeli embassy had laid the groundwork in advance with countries neighboring Ukraine to make it easier for Israelis arriving there. “We are receiving dozens if not hundreds of telephone calls from Israelis who are asking what to do,” the ambassador said. “Anyone who can get to the western border on their own and cross over should do so.”

According to Brodsky, the Israeli embassy, which was relocated to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv from Kyiv, would try to assist in the evacuation and in issuing travel documents to Israelis seeking to leave. “We are in control of what’s happened here with us. We’re not in control of the rest of the country,” the ambassador remarked, in a reflection of the uncertain situation.

“At the moment, we are remaining here despite that there have also been air raid sirens in Lviv. We are checking what it involves. We are here and prepared to provide services to Israelis.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said representatives are at the following border crossings: the Medyka crossing to Poland; the Vysne Nemescke crossing to Slovakia; the Zahony crossing to Hungary; and the Sighet crossing to Romania. An Israeli representative was due to be posted to the Planca crossing to Moldova later on Thursday.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will conduct a situation assessment at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. It is estimated that there are about 8,000 Israelis in the country.

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