Polish Citizens Reach Out to Assist Ukrainians Fleeing War

"The Russian invasion of Ukraine is in its tenth day. Ruined buildings, schools and institutions, collapsed bridges, destroyed villages. We see photos that show how much destruction the Russian invasion left behind in Ukraine. Mariupol is 'encircled and mercilessly attacked' by Russian forces. At the same time, Moscow conveyed that from this city residents will be able to pass through humanitarian corridors on March 5th. 

"The Ukrainian army reports Russian planes and helicopters were shot down and the defense ministry reports more than 66,000 men have returned from abroad to fight in the war against Russia. Sad are the conversations of Russian captives -- at the same time frightening and touching. Many of them did not know where they were going, what they were going for, or what awaited them.

"Since Feb. 24, 2022 787,300 people have fled Ukraine and entered Poland. Fear, tears, joy, hope and gratitude mix on the Polish-Ukrainian border. The President of Poland assured that all residents from Ukraine are allowed into Poland, both those who have passports and those who have no documents. Over the past few days we have received refugees from Ukraine, who originate from 170 countries around the world. 

"The President added that some of these people, such as students from India, have already flown back to their homes. Indian authorities sent a coordinator to Poland to deal with this. Everyone is given assistance on equal terms, able to travel further into Poland on buses and trains. Local government transport companies are introducing free rides for refugees from Ukraine. They can also ride regional and other railroads for free. Polish citizens are also transporting humanitarian and material aid for Ukrainians remaining in their country.

"Mothers with children are slowly acclimating to their new surroundings in Polish families.... Their husbands and fathers stayed behind to fight for Ukraine's freedom. War triggers layers of extraordinary empathy. We want to help and open wide our hearts to the needs of Ukraine and all refugees who, unable to fight, seek shelter in Poland.

"Sisters - thank you for your support and most of all for your prayers." 
Sister Noemi Raczkowska SDS, Provincial Superior March 5, 2022

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