Romania, Poland allow Ukrainian refugees to bring ‘pets without passports’ after Russian invasion

Inquam Photos / Virgil Simonescu

Ukrainians fled to Romania and Poland taking their pets and children in search of safety as Russia pounded Kyiv and other cities with airstrikes for a second day.

Romania, Ukraine, Hungary and Moldova  waived normal rules to allow pets to enter without vaccination passports and chips.

“Please don’t leave your pets behind. Romanian NGOs (non-governmental organizations) are coming to borders to help you with pets. They are victims just like you,” animal trainer Tudor-Tim Ionescu said on Tik Tok.

“There are temporary exemption for pets due to the extraordinary situation in Ukraine,” Romania’s national sanitary and veterinary authority said.

Ukrainian pet owners need to fill in pet registration forms, authorities in Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Poland said. n.

Most of the refugees were women, children and the elderly. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday banned men of military age from leaving the country.

Cars were backed up for 17 kilometers  at the Sighet border crossing on Saturday morning, Israeli ambassador David Saranga said in a tweet.

A woman from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, who arrived in Przemsyl, Poland, broke down in tears describing how men were pulled off trains in Ukraine before they got to the border.

“Even if the man was traveling with his own child he couldn’t cross the border, even with a kid,” said the woman, who would only give her first name, Daria, according to  Check News quoting an AP report.

Authorities and ordinary people in Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Moldova have mobilized to receive refugees, providing shelter, food and legal help.

The neighbors have also eased their usual border procedures, among them Covid-19 testing requirements.

At border crossings in Romania and Poland, Ukrainians arrived on foot, by train and by car.

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