Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022, many citizens of Ukraine have fled the country to escape the atrocities and violence being committed there.
Now, some of those refugees are finding themselves in a similar situation after the Palestinian terrorist group known as Hamas carried out a surprise violent attack on Israel over the weekend.
The New York Post spoke to some of those refugees earlier this week, including Ahuva Rosilio, who took her family from Odessa, Ukraine, to Jerusalem in Israel not long after Russia first invaded its neighbor. She said that the shock and awe that’s being experienced by people in Israel now after Hamas’ attack is “all too familiar” for her and her family.
“It’s round two. That’s what it feels like. We just did this last year. This feels all too familiar to how the war felt in the beginning in Ukraine.”
Rosilio, who is 28 years old, has four children, and all of them are under 10 years old. During the Hamas attack, she said that her and her entire family ran to the safe room in the building where they’re living because rockets were flying overhead.
During the experience, she said she felt many conflicting feelings.
She recalled feeling:
“It’s the same thoughts running in my head: ‘Is this just the beginning, or is this the worst of it? Should I get out while I still can? Where am I going to go this time? This is my home – I’m not leaving!’
“But, my kids, I have to keep them safe. This won’t last long, but that’s what I thought when I left Ukraine. … I left one war – all of my belongings, all my life – to start over where I thought would be best for my children, the safest place, Jerusalem, my home.”
While the feelings that Rosilio and her family have felt now are similar to those they felt when Russia invaded Ukraine, there is one major difference between the two events, she said.
In Ukraine, there had been talks going on for a couple weeks before the invasion actually happened that Russia would be launching an attack. That gave the Rosilios and others the opportunity to plan their evacuation from the country.
This time, though, there was no warning at all. Hamas just attacked Israel by surprise.
In addition, Rosilio added that the reason for the invasion is much different this time than it was in Ukraine. As she told The Post:
“It’s not about the country or the land. It’s about being Jewish. Their goal (Hamas) isn’t to take over a land. It’s to kill us.
“It doesn’t matter if we go to America or Cyprus. If I’m a Jew, I’m at risk. They’re waging war on a people.”
Many Ukrainians fled to Israel after Russia invaded their country. Rosilio and her family are Orthodox Jews, which is why she said she believed that Israel would be a place that would provide her and her family with a sense of relief, as well as deep peace.