Residents of Odessa escape city by train fearing Russian invasion

Israeli philanthropic group saves cancer patient from besieged Odessa

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews arranges an ambulance to take Alexander from his home to Kishinev across the border where he reunites with wife and daughter; Now in Israel family hopes to settle for good

Sivan Hilaie |
Published: 03.17.22, 10:14
Many families who escaped the war in Ukraine were torn apart when men were not allowed to cross the borders and made to join the defense of their country.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • Hana Postol and her daughter Liza left Odessa without father and husband Alexander who is battling cancer, and although his health prevented him from joining the fighting, he was unable to make the journey.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    אנשים עולים ל רכבת שלג ב אודסה אוקראינה מלחמה באירופה משבר פלישה
    אנשים עולים ל רכבת שלג ב אודסה אוקראינה מלחמה באירופה משבר פלישה
    Residents of Odessa escape city by train fearing Russian invasion
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Hana refused to move away from the border without him.
    Hana had been forced to leave her home once before. She is a native of Crimea and when the Russians invaded there in 2014, Alexander and her packed up their lives in a couple of suitcases and settled in Odessa, where Liza was born.
    A psychologist, Hana worked with autistic children in Odessa. Alexander found work as a psychiatrist while Liza, now seven, went to the city's Jewish school.
    But now the family was made to flee the Russian invaders once more.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Odessa's city center empty of residents fearing Russian invasion
    Odessa's city center empty of residents fearing Russian invasion
    Odessa's city center empty of residents fearing Russian invasion
    (Photo: AFP)
    "Russia bombed a military base near our neighborhood and we decided to leave," Hana says. "It was heartwrenching to watch such a vibrant city emptied of its resident."
    The Postols were concerned about one thing only — protecting Liza and ensuring her future, and although Alexander grew weaker and was unable to receive treatment for his Leukemia, he urged his wife and daughter to flee.
    After arriving in Kishinev, Hana found refuge in a facility run by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), a philanthropic organization. She reached out to anyone who could help get Alexander out as well.
    Finally, Hana found Tami, an Israeli volunteer who with others arranged an ambulance to bring Alexander from his home in Odessa all the way to Kishinev where the family began the immigration process to Israel.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Alexander Postol and family arrive in Israel
    Alexander Postol and family arrive in Israel
    Alexander Postol and family arrive in Israel
    (Photo: Yariv Katz)
    "I don't know what I would have done without Tami and the IFCJ," Alexander said from a hotel room in Rehovot.
    The family has a difficult integration process ahead but Alexander will be able to resume his cancer treatments at Sheba Medical Center.
    They hope to make a life in Israel and never again have to be uprooted and on the run.
    Talkbacks for this article 0