A 30-year-old Jewish man from Kharkiv, Ukraine, was laid to rest on Jan. 1 after he was killed during a barrage of Russian airstrikes over the weekend. At least 45 people throughout Ukraine were killed in the last few days as drones and rockets were directed at several cities, including the capital of Kyiv; Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city; and as far as Lviv, on the Polish border.

Among the victims was Artem Reznik, an only child, who had just arrived at his work in Kharkiv at 7:35 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 29, when a massive barrage of rocket fire hit. His mother, Marina, is very active in the local Jewish community, which turned out for the funeral.

“Marina comes every week to a Torah class and makes sure to come every month to help pack food packages for needy people,” said Miriam Moskovitz, who along with her husband, Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz, have directed Chabad-Lubavitch of Kharkiv for more than 30 years.

Rabbi Moskovitz, who was outside of Ukraine for his son’s wedding when the attack hit, arranged for the funeral services to be held at the Choral Synagogue, which was conducted by local Chabad emissary Rabbi Yaakov Yakimenko. “This is yet another reminder of how we all need peace in Ukraine,” Moskovitz said. “We need peace here, and in Israel, and the ultimate peace with the coming of Moshiach, when there will be no more senseless suffering.”

In addition to the 45 dead, Russia’s massive bombardment of Ukraine injured nearly 160 people, and Ukraine officials say that few of the attacks were on military targets. Kyiv's military administration chief, Serhiy Popko, said on Sunday that more bodies have been recovered from the rubble of a warehouse that was hit by an airstrike, bringing the total number of people killed in airstrikes on the city to 22.

In Kharkiv, Artem Reznik was killed when a massive barrage of rocket fire hit his workplace. His mother, Marina, is very active in the local Jewish community, which turned out for the funeral.
In Kharkiv, Artem Reznik was killed when a massive barrage of rocket fire hit his workplace. His mother, Marina, is very active in the local Jewish community, which turned out for the funeral.

Even before people were pulled out of the wreckage, the city’s mayor described the attacks as the deadliest day so far for civilians in the city. And on Saturday, the governor of Ukraine’s Kherson region said that one person was killed during Russian shelling of a residential building.

At the same time, airstrikes injured 19 in Kharkiv as Russia launched six rocket attacks on the city, the head of Kharkiv’s regional administration said. He added that in addition to the dead, two children and a foreign national were among those injured.

Yet even as they mourn the tragedy of Reznik’s death and brace for more fighting, the Jewish community of Kharkiv is planning a celebration this week: Three men—a 15-year-old and two men in their 70s—will undergo a brit milah.

“May we soon see an end of all war and suffering, and peace in the whole world,” said Miriam Moscovitz.

Missiles fell throughout Ukaine.
Missiles fell throughout Ukaine.
A schoolroom in Lviv was hit in the attack.
A schoolroom in Lviv was hit in the attack.