Russian Soldiers Arrest, Later Release, 3 Israeli-Ukrainian Citizens for Protesting Invasion
Three dual Israeli-Ukrainian citizens were arrested by Russian soldiers in the southeastern Ukraine city of Melitopol, which currently is under Russian military occupation. Tatiana Kumok, who runs a bridal gown studio in Tel Aviv and splits her time between Israel and Ukraine, has been chronicling the war on Ukraine by posting videos and photos from her birth country on social media. Tatiana, her mother Vera, and her father Mikhail were arrested by Russian forces early on Monday morning and released several hours later after individual interrogations, reportedly after intervention by Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Tatiana Kumok wrote in a post on Facebook that “Dad and I are ok, mommy is not ok emotionally to say the least.” She said she believes they were kidnapped in order to put pressure on her father, who is the part-owner of a media company. “They want them to write that everything is fine, that we love the Russians,” she told Israel’s public broadcaster Kan after the ordeal. The soldiers told her she was arrested “for making too much noise in the city” and for protesting against the invasion of Ukraine, which the Russians said was illegal. The soldiers also told her they “came from Russia to Ukraine to free Ukrainians from the Nazis,” to which she said that suggested they “go on Google and look up what real Nazis are.” Russia’s military captured Melitopol on February 26; it has a population of 150,000.