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March 21, 2022 3:31 pm
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Three Israelis Taken Prisoner by Russian Forces in Ukraine Released: ‘Anyone Who Supports Ukraine, They Come for Them’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Members of the Territorial Defence Force stand guard at a check point, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, at the Independence Square in central Kyiv, Ukraine, March 3, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Three Israelis arrested by Russian forces in the besieged Ukrainian city of Melitopol were released on Monday.

Vera and Mikhail Kumok, along with their daughter Tatiana, who is a resident of Ukraine, were “literally kidnapped” by Russia, an unnamed Israeli living in Ukraine told Israeli news site Walla.

“First, the father of the family,” he said. “After that they came for the daughter, and then they came and took her mother as well.”

A friend of Tatiana, named only as “Tali,” said before the family’s release that Tatiana “was taken by the Russia invaders with no explanation why and when she would be returned.”

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“At the moment we don’t know anything,” Tali said at the time. “This chaos must be stopped.”

Anya, a school friend of Tatiana’s, said, “We would receive reports from her on what was happening in the city. She would write in Russian about everything that’s happening now in the city, mostly on Facebook.”

She claimed her friend was likely taken prisoner because of those Facebook posts.

“Of course, anyone who [supports] the government of Ukraine against the Russian invasion, [the Russians] come for them,” Anya said.

After she heard that Tatiana and her family had been released, Anya said, “They’ve taken their phones away, we’re waiting for them to return home.”

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