“If I must die, at least let it be in my country.” As Tetiana KochevaUkrainians who found refuge in Israel after the Russian invasion decided to return to their country, despite the war, to flee the conflict with Hamas.
When Russian troops invaded Ukraine in late February 2022, Tetiana, 39, and her three children, now 14, 10 and 3 years old, They lived in Kharkiv (northeast), near the border with Russia.
Kharkiv was one of the first targets of Russian bombing in Ukraine. Tetiana and her children were hidden for ten days in a basement.
In July 2022 they left Ukraine to go to Israel, where her husband worked. “I thought we would stay three months and then return,” “but the war is not over.” The family settled in Ashkelon, a city in southern Israel, near Gaza.
On October 7, the day of the bloody attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas launched from Gaza into Israeli territory, “my hands started to shake and I had the same feeling I felt the moment the war started in my country,” says Tetiana.