NEW YORK (VINnews) — The Ukrainian army is composed of large numbers of conscripts, some of whom are Jewish. David Tzerkaski, a Chabad chasid from the city of Dniepro in central Ukraine, fought together with his father, R’ Asher Yosef, in 2014 against the Russians during the battles in Donetsk. Now once again, he has joined the armed forces for a second time.Join our WhatsApp group
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David studied in Chabad institutions in Dniepro and later in Israel, returning to his native country and serving in the army.
“Everything is OK, all is well,” David said in an interview with Israeli television Sunday. “I am now in Dniepro and we’re doing all we can.” He added that “the war hasn’t arrived here yet but its a matter of time. We’re waiting for the Russians to see what we have…half of them have died and half went back home.”
David is optimistic and says that the Russians were naive to think they could win easily. “We won’t give them anything, they can say what they want.”
Tzerkaski says that he is willing to give his life for the Ukraine: “I’m willing to die for the people of Israel living here, for the people of the Ukraine, I was born here, my family is here, my father is with me here.”
Tzerkaski says that “there were many kids from Israel here and that is how I learnt Hebrew.” When asked if there is anti-semitism in the Ukraine, Tzerkaski said derisively: “that’s really funny, we have a Jewish president and Jewish soldiers. I don’t experience anti-semitism in my city.” Tzerkaski stresses however that the Ukrainian army still needs international help to succeed in overcoming the Russians.