Ukrainian Israelis return to their homeland to fight Russia, find enemy unprepared

“What they’re doing looks like a complete mess, they have no idea where they’re going, where they are, what their missions are, what zip code they’re in, their GPS location, nothing.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

While thousands of Israelis are fleeing Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion, at least one Israeli immigrant from the eastern European country heeded the call, with more on the way.

Nikolai Mikolich, who served in the IDF’s Givati Brigade, spoke to Channel 12’s Rafi Reshef from the capital, where he was posted by his new commanders to defend Kyiv’s government buildings from a rumored Russian push.

He also makes forays to the city’s edge, “to see if they are getting close, to work a bit with anti-tank weapons, but so far everything is OK, under control.”

He has yet to see any action, he says, because his comrades in arms have been “taking apart all [the Russians’] technical [equipment] at the entrance of the city; their tanks are being burned even before they enter.”

Although he insisted that everything was fine, he admitted that the unit was short on modern heavy weaponry, with only two anti-tank rockets and no LAW missiles. He expects better military supplies to arrive soon, he said, as well as “guys from other countries,” and expressed confidence in his Ukrainian fighters’ abilities.

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“We’re sure that we’re going to burn all of them, every single one who enters here,” he said, adding that 90% of his team has already fought the Russians,“and nobody is afraid of them.”

Kyiv-born Sergei Nowitzki, 38, came to Israel as a teenager and served in the IDF in a combat support role. He told Ynet that he felt an obligation to go help as his father and a son from a previous marriage still living in Ukraine.

He said there are groups of Israelis waiting to receive authorization to bring defensive equipment with them when they leave for the Ukraine, which they plan to enter via Poland. He has at least two friends who are planning to go with him.

Already on the ground, Mikolich commented on the seeming lack of motivation and unprofessionalism of the Russian army

“What they’re doing looks like a complete mess, they have no idea where they’re going, where they are, what their missions are, what zip code they’re in, their GPS location, nothing.”

His observations seem to be borne out by videos the Ukrainians have been showing of Russian soldiers captured over the first days of the war. A New York Post reporter in Ukraine wrote Monday about interviews shown on television “with frightened-looking Russian conscripts who were now surrendering to Ukrainian forces in droves.”

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During an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly Monday, Ukraine’s UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya read out messages taken from a dead Russian soldier’s phone to his mother, which showed how the troops were being misled.

“We were told that they would welcome us and they are falling under our armored vehicles, throwing themselves under the wheels and not allowing us to pass. They call us fascists. Mama, this is so hard,” the soldier wrote.