A Ukrainian father was forced to entrust his two young children to a complete stranger to help them cross the border to safety and meet their mother who was arriving from Italy.
The border guards would not let the father pass as Ukraine has banned all Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving, so they can fight for their country.
"Their father simply handed over the two kids to me, and trusted me, giving me their passports to bring them over," 58-year-old Nataliya Ableyeva said, with arms of the young boy she had known for just a few hours around her neck.
The children's Ukrainian mother was on her way from Italy to meet them and take them to safety, the father said. He gave Ableyeva the mother's mobile number, and said goodbye to his children, wrapped up in thick jackets and hats.
Ableyeva had left her own two grown-up children behind in Ukraine. One a police official and the other a nurse, neither could leave Ukraine under the mobilization decree.
She took the two small children by the hand and together they crossed the border. On the Hungarian side at Beregsurany, they waited, sitting on a bench near a tent set up for the steady flow of refugees streaming over the frontier. The little boy was crying when his mobile phone rang. It was his mother and she was nearly at the border post.
When 33-year-old Anna Semyuk arrived, her blonde hair scraped back in a ponytail, she hugged her son and went to her daughter, lying exhausted in the back of a car and wrapped in a pink blanket. She thanked Ableyeva.
Standing in the cold on the scrubby ground, two women embraced for several minutes and started to cry. "All I can say to my kids now is that everything will be alright," said Semyuk. "In one or two weeks, we will go home."