“It is heartbreaking to see women with young children crossing the border,” said Vitaly Spransina, a member of the Moldovan Citizens for Peace Initiative. NOS speaks from the border crossing in Palanca, not far from the Ukrainian city of Odessa on the Black Sea. “A large number of people are pouring in. Not only Ukrainians but also Azerbaijanis and Chinese who used to live in Odessa but now want to go home.”
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. However, there is no shortage of generosity. Spranceana says that many volunteers provide assistance to refugees on the spot. “They heat the tents where they distribute coffee, tea and snacks. That’s a good thing, because it’s freezing here and it rains here. People are also taken home and sheltered there. I am happy to see that.”
Not only the whole of Moldova was mobilized, but also many volunteers arrived every day from abroad to help, says former Deputy Minister Gruza. He is currently the Director of the Research Institute for European Policies and Reforms. “I just met a team of Israeli aid workers, the Danish authorities come to see how they can help, and other EU member states also want to support us. A Canadian citizen, who is a private citizen, called me to ask if he could come and help and I told him to travel to Romania and from There by car, our airspace is closed.”
A state of emergency has been imposed in Moldova since last week. “We don’t allow air traffic because the Russians are firing ballistic missiles and that sometimes goes wrong,” Groza said. “We did not want to endanger civilians.”
Earlier this week, Moldovan President Sandu visited a checkpoint on the country’s northern border and posted these photos on Facebook:
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