Ukrainian mom, who had to leave her adult children behind, brings stranger’s kids to safety

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Powerful images continue to pour in from Ukraine following the Russian invasion. This one is of a mother who bravely crossed the border of the war-torn country and entered Hungary with a precious cargo that had been entrusted to her.

Nataliya Ableyeva arrived in Hungary clutching a mobile phone number of a woman she had never met as well as her children. It was while waiting at the border to find refuge on the other side, that Ableyeva met a desperate 38-year-old man, who happened to be from her hometown of Kamianets-Podilskyi.

With him were his two young children, a son, and a daughter. When the border guards would not allow him to pass, he handed his beloved kids to Ableyeva trusting her to keep them safe until their mother could get them. “Their father simply handed over the two kids to me, and trusted me, giving me their passports to bring them over,” recalled the 58-year-old woman while tightly holding the young boy she had met hours earlier.

On February 24, Ukraine banned all-male citizens aged “18-60” from leaving the country so they could fight for their country. “In particular, it is forbidden for men aged 18-60, Ukraine citizens, to leave the borders of Ukraine,” declared the State Border Guard Service shortly after the introduction of martial law in Ukraine, reports CNN.

“This regulation will remain in effect for the period of the legal regime of martial law. We ask the citizens to take this information into consideration.” This is why the children’s father could not cross the border at the time. As for their mother, she was on her way from Italy to get her kids. Ableyeva, who brought a stranger’s kids to safety, revealed that she had to leave her two grown-up kids behind in Ukraine due to the mobilization decree as one was a nurse and the other a policeman.

According to Reuters. she held the two small kids’ hands and crossed the border together. When they arrived at the Hungarian side at Beregsurany, Ableyeva waited with the children until their mother arrived. They sat on a bench near a tent that had been set up for the steady flow of refugees that had been pouring in. As soon as the little boy’s mobile phone rang, he started crying as it was his mother.

She was almost at the border post moments away from reuniting with her children. 33-year-old Anna Semyuk arrived shortly after and immediately pulled her son into a warm embrace, She then went to tend to her daughter, who was lying in the back of a car, wrapped in a blanket due to exhaustion. Finally, the emotional mother thanked Ableyeva for safely bringing her two kids to her.

The two women embraced each other for several minutes before breaking down into tears. “All I can say to my kids now, is that everything will be alright. In one or two weeks, and we will go home,” shared Semyuk even as Russia shows no signs of putting an end to the violent invasion.

Cover image source: YouTube Screenshots | Guardian News