Ukrainian woman finds safety in Gaza amid Russian war

As Russia’s war on Ukraine rages, a Ukrainian woman from the central city of Vinnytsia fled to the Gaza Strip alongside her Palestinian husband in search for safety. Victoria Roger, 21, said her city was turned into rubble since the beginning of the Russian war, forcing her to relocate with her husband, Ibrahim Saidam, to Gaza. The couple, both university students, have been married for two and a half years. "We left our friends and family and we know nothing about their whereabouts,” Roger told Anadolu Agency. Roger is worried about her safety in Gaza knowing that the blockaded enclave is prone to Israeli assaults. However, she acknowledges that the Palestinian territory is now safer than Ukraine. "My husband is a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip. Because of the Russian bombardment, we had no choice but to move to where my husband hails from, which is Gaza," she said. While deciding to leave her country was "a bit difficult", Roger, a fourth-year pharmacy student, said she felt “some kind of relief” being among her husband's family. She also thanked residents in her new neighborhood for their “warm reception” and hopes both people in Gaza and Ukraine will live a happy and safe life. Her husband, Saidam, decried the situation in Vinnytsia as “frightening” and “greatly devastating” akin to what he experienced during the various rounds of Israeli assaults on Gaza. A fourth year medical student, Saidam is keen to return with his wife to Ukraine as soon as the war ends to see his wife’s family and to complete their studies. According to UN estimates, at least 902 civilians have been killed and around 1,459 injured in Ukraine since Russia launched its war on its western neighbor on Feb 24. The UN has said the real figures are likely to be much higher as conditions on the ground make verification difficult. UN data shows over 3.38 million refugees have fled from Ukraine since the war began, while some 6.5 million are estimated to be internally displaced in the country.

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