Lena, Mark, and the Tropper family
Lena, Mark, and the Tropper family Facebook

Culture and Sports Minister Yehiel Tropper (Blue & White) announced on Thursday that since the beginning of this week, he has been hosting two members of an Ukrainian family who fled the war.

"Nine-year-old Mark, his mother Lena, and their dog Gosha fled their home near Kyiv," Tropper wrote on Facebook. "They are war refugees and earlier this week they moved into my house.

"We've been trying to give them a bit of tranquility along with a warm home and everything they need, after they escaped the horrors of war with only a small trolley suitcase. Mark's father was left behind," he added.

"They are amazing people despite what they have been through, and somehow manage to keep smiling and maintain their optimism even though they are so worried," he wrote. "My children vacated their rooms, offered them their beds, and tried without words but with the aid of basic human communication to give them a sense of belonging.

"Mark is a talented tennis player and he entered Israel as part of our agreement with Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, who permitted the entry of a hundred Ukrainian athletes," Tropper explained. "These athletes are being sponsored by the Culture and Sports Ministry. Mark and the Ukrainian athletes are still managing to train and keep fit."

Tropper also referred to criticism of Israel's refugee absorption policy, noting that, "In recent days I have met with generosity and endless kindness. For example, the number of tennis coaches who have volunteered to coach Mark in recent days would be enough to make up several teams.

"We are delighted to be part of this effort to open our hearts and homes for people in distress," he added. "When we look at Mark and Lena in the living room of our own home, it is clear how much must be done to help war's victims and how much must be done to end the conflict."