Ukrainian refugee moved to tears by random generosity of elderly Romanian man

Daughters of Ukrainian refugee, fitness trainer Yulia Chernitskaya who fled Odessa when the war started.
Daughters of Ukrainian refugee, fitness trainer Yulia Chernitskaya who fled Odessa when the war started.

Fitness trainer Yulia Chernitskaya is  one of more than hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who fled their country and arrived in Romania after the Russian invasion.

The mother of four left her home in March as fighting engulfed the Black Sea port of Odessa and arrived in Romania. She has been overwhelmed by kindness and random acts of generosity, she said in a Facebook post.


Ms Chernitskaya is one of more fortunate refugees as she drove to Romania by car and is already working at a fitness center in the town of Brasov.

Over the weekend she stopped at a gas station in Moeciu, central Romania where she is living. An elderly man thrust a 100 lei note (about 20 euros) into her hand after seeing her car with Ukrainian number plates.

The trainer said she teared up particularly as the man did not seem well-off.

”I  received this money from man in a gas station after I’d filled up my tank. He wiped his windscreen came over and asked me in Romanian “Ukraine?” I replied: “Yes, Ukraine.”

Slava Ukraini

He probably waited for me as he’d seen my Ukraine number plates. He got out his wallet and gave  me 100 lei and said ‘Slava Ukraini’ (Glory to Ukraine). I began to cry. I refused the money because he had an old car. But he took out another 100 lei and gave it to me telling me he didn’t need it.”

„I couldn’t stop the tears. He didn’t know I had four children who were waiting for me. I’m glad he didn’t as he would have emptied his wallet. I wanted to hug him, but I didn’t.If this man sees this post, he will see he helped a mother with four children.”

I just sat in silence in my car and wiped my tears. How can this happen? I asked myself, Yulia Chernitskaya, said on Facebook.


The fitness trainer spoke of thee life-changing experiences she’d had since the invasion began.

”Everyone is helping and supporting us. They are offering us free accommodation, food, money and clothes, while our Russian neighbors are killing us,” she said.

“We thank everyone who took me and my children in, who helped us. Thank you to friends who sent us money to live on.”


Comrades, this war taught me a lot, it opened my eyes. Thanks you for the experience, but please leave. We don’t deserve this. Just leave!”

Romania welcomes Ukrainian refugee children with fluffy toys



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