25 Years Later, Kharkiv Names Street After IDF Hero

On October 29, 1998, 19-year-old IDF sergeant Alexey (Asher) Neykov bravely intercepted a car filled with explosives aimed at two school buses carrying 48 Jewish children near the Kfar Darom settlement. Now, a street was named after him in Ukraine.

In a historic move, the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, has honored the memory of IDF Sergeant Alexey (Asher) Neykov by renaming a street in his honor. Neykov, a Kharkiv native, sacrificed his life to save dozens of children during a terrorist attack on a school bus in Gush Katif.

The decision was made during a meeting of the local Kharkiv city council on April 26, 2024, where 367 streets, alleys, and squares were renamed. Mayor Igor Terekhov signed the decision into effect on May 1, 2024.

On October 29, 1998, Neykov, then a 19-year-old sergeant in the IDF, bravely intercepted a car filled with explosives aimed at two school buses carrying 48 Jewish children near Kfar Darom settlement. He, along with other soldiers, shielded the children from the blast, sacrificing his own life in the process.

Now, alongside the names of fallen Ukrainian soldiers, Alexey Neykov’s name graces the streets of Kharkiv, symbolizing his selfless act of heroism. This marks perhaps the first instance globally where a street outside of Israel has been named after a fallen IDF soldier.

Neykov’s roots in Kharkiv run deep. He attended the FJC ‘Or Avner’ Jewish School No. 170, founded by the Chief Rabbi of Kharkiv and Chabad emissary Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz. The school, now located on the street named in Neykov’s honor, also houses a room dedicated to his memory.

The initiative to rename the street was spearheaded by Israeli journalist and historian Shimon Briman, with support from city council deputy Irina Goncharova-Bagaliy and Chief Rabbi Moshe Moskowitz. Alongside Neykov, two other prominent Jews, architects Viktor Estrovich and Alexander Ginzburg, were also honored with street names.

Rabbi Moshe Moskowitz commented on the decision, saying, “It is an honor for our school to be on the street named after a former student who gave his life to save others in the Holy Land. As the Talmud teaches, ‘One who saves one life is as if he saved the entire world.’ Asher, in his heroic short life, is a pride for the whole Jewish nation.”

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