NewsDangerous crossings: The perilous journey over the Tisza River

Dangerous crossings: The perilous journey over the Tisza River

Not all Ukrainians want to fight. Some die fleeing across the river.
Not all Ukrainians want to fight. Some die fleeing across the river.
Images source: © Getty Images | Getty Images

9:11 AM EDT, April 23, 2024

Flowing between Ukraine and Romania, the Tisza River witnesses attempts by those fleeing war and mobilization to cross its waters. Unfortunately, not all succeed in reaching their destination alive.

The border patrol reports that on the banks of the Tisza River, instances of illegal border crossings occur nearly every day. The Romanian authorities have observed that, since the beginning of the massive invasion by Russian forces into Ukraine, over six thousand individuals have attempted the perilous journey across the Tisza River.

Tragically, since the war commenced, at least 22 people have lost their lives attempting to reach the safety of the Romanian side.

The fatal factors include the icy waters, inadequate clothing, unseen obstacles, and deceptive promises of an "easy passage" from those organizing the crossings.

Determined individuals attempting to cross the river use rubber boats, mattresses, or inflatable balls, taking precautions such as wearing life jackets, suits, or wrapping themselves in cling film to stay warm.

"Ukrainian Pravda" reports that Ukrainians trying to evade mobilization fall prey to exploitative schemes. These individuals pay thousands of dollars for advice on how to cross the river, often based on deceit.

Deception is a fundamental part of these schemes. Organizers, taking payment upfront, offer no guarantees of a successful crossing. Some are even told there's an arrangement with the border guards to allow passage through checkpoints. However, upon reaching the supposed meeting point, the facilitator simply shrugs off any responsibility - the website emphasizes.

A Remarkable Incident in Ukraine

A border guard shared a story about a man exempt from military service due to his role as a caregiver for a disabled individual who still attempted to cross the river.

According to the guard, the man sought advice from several individuals who attempted to exploit him, convincing him that his deferment papers would not prevent his mobilization. Ultimately, the border guard recorded his attempted crossing, but he later left the country by legal means.

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