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Russian citizen freed from Hamas captivity asks Putin to rescue other hostages in Gaza

Yelena Trufanova has no doubt that Russia's enormous international influence will help resolve the issue

MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Russian national Yelena Trufanova thanked the Russian authorities for the measures taken to free her from Hamas captivity and asked for help to free the remaining hostages in Gaza.

On November 30, Hamas announced the release of two hostages with Russian citizenship, Yelena Trufanova and her mother Irina Tatti, "in response to the efforts of Russian President" Vladimir Putin. "I came here to Moscow to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Russian government and to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin personally for our release. I know that it is thanks to the efforts of the Russian government that we have been released," she told a TASS news conference on the rescue of the Gaza hostages.

"Unfortunately, my only son, Russian citizen Alexander Trufanov, is still in the hands of Hamas. I urge the Russian government and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin personally to continue to make every effort to free him, just as efforts were made to free us," Trufanova added. "I ask to continue the work that has been started," she said.

Trufanova has no doubt that Russia's enormous international influence will help resolve the issue. "Russia does not leave its citizens in trouble, my mother and I are living proof of that," the Russian national said.

She pointed out that all this time she had no way of contacting her son. "There is no communication with him. The only information we have received from the Israeli army is that he is alive, that he is wounded. We don't know what condition he is in, we don't know if he can walk, we don't know any of that. None of those who have returned have seen him there," Trufanova explained.

Hardest thing in captivity

Yelena Trufanova said that shortly before the events of October 7, 2023, when she and her family were taken hostage by Hamas, her son and his fiance came to visit their relatives in the kibbutz that was attacked. The family members were separated in captivity, and the woman was tormented by the fear that her loved ones were dead. According to her, this uncertainty proved to be the most difficult ordeal.

"I only found out about my mother when we were already in the car on the way to the Red Cross. My mother didn't know anything about me either. All this time she lived with the thought that her only grandson had died. She didn't know anything about me or him. And that's how we met in the car on the way to the Red Cross," Trufanova said.

Earlier, Russian Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, at a meeting with Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, as well as relatives and friends of Trufanova, held hostage in Gaza, spoke about the efforts of Russian diplomacy to liberate compatriots. Trufanova's relatives expressed their gratitude to the Russian leadership for the energetic steps that led to their release from captivity and their hope for similarly effective actions that will help Alexander return home.