Jewish family in Ukraine with Israeli citizenship held by Russians

Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine confirmed that the family had been arrested in Melitopol, where the father owns a local newspaper.

By World Israel News Staff

The Foreign Ministry is examining a report that an Israeli citizen and her parents were arrested in Ukraine by Russian forces in the city of Melitopol, Hebrew-language N12 reported Monday.

The Israeli citizen, Tatiana Kumok, owns a bridal salon in Tel Aviv and had traveled to her Ukrainian hometown of Melitopol to assist at a local branch of the business. She wrote about the war and the situation in Ukraine on Facebook.

Kumok’s friend, Tali Brodecki, told N12 that Kumok “knew it was coming, she was told she was on target” because of her public posts.

Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine, Michael Brodsky, confirmed that the family had been arrested in Melitopol, adding that “we have conveyed the messages required for their release,” N12 reported.

“For the last few days, she has been uploading videos and updates to her Facebook account about what is happening in the city,” Brodecki told the news site. “She was arrested by Russian soldiers and taken to an unknown location.”

Brodecki told N12 that she is in contact with the Foreign Ministry and that the most senior officials are dealing with the issue.

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Kumok “has Israeli citizenship, immigrated to Israel about 10 years ago and has a business in Israel. She traveled to Ukraine in the summer to rehabilitate the business that remained there,” Brodecki explained.

“The war caught her there and she documented everything that was happening there from the beginning, when the city was under Russian occupation.”

Kumok’s father, the owner of a local newspaper, was arrested in the morning; the Russians were concerned with “progaganda,” Brodecki told N12. A few hours later, Kumok and her mother were also found and detained.

“We do not know where they are or what their physical condition is,” Brodecki said.

“The Russians do not want people in Ukraine to tell the world what is really going on there, but she reported [on Facebook] from the ground and therefore was arrested.”

“Despite the danger,” Brodecki told N12, Kumok remained in the city “by choice, and she and her parents do not want to return. This is their city.”

Before his retirement, Komok’s father was “part of the interior ministry,” she said on her Facebook post.