Those we are missing

Taken captive: Amazon employee Sasha Trufanov

Sasha, 30, was abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz with family members who were later released

Sasha Trufanov, 27, was taken hostage along with his family and girlfriend Sapir Cohen on October 7, 2023 (courtesy)
Sasha Trufanov, 27, was taken hostage along with his family and girlfriend Sapir Cohen on October 7, 2023 (courtesy)

Sasha Trufanov, 30, was taken hostage along with three members of his family — grandmother Irena Tati, mother Yelena (Lena) and his girlfriend Sapir Cohen — from Kibbutz Nir Oz after the October 7 Hamas massacres at the Gaza border town.

Since the Russian-Israeli family has no other relatives in Israel, Sasha’s friends became their voices, gathering a war room of 30 people who reviewed dozens of Hamas videos, were able to identify girlfriend Sapir in one, being brought to Gaza on a moped, between two terrorists, her hands held behind her head.

They also eventually learned that Sasha’s father Vitaly Trufanov was killed on October 7.

Mother Yelena Trufanova, 50, and her mother Irena Tati, 73, were released by Hamas on November 29 at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yelena Trufanov, right, speaks next to her mother Irena Tati at a rally calling for the release of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, in Hostage Square in Tel Aviv, December 2, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Sasha’s parents and grandmother had been in their home, with a safe room, while Sasha and Sapir were in another house without a safe room. It was later learned that Vitaly Trufanov had been taken from the house before the rest of the family.

Sasha and his girlfriend, Sapir, had recently moved in together in a Ramat Gan apartment, so when the Gaza border communities were attacked by Hamas terrorists in what became a massacre of hundreds, their friends didn’t know at first that they were there.

“When we called him, he didn’t answer,” said one friend in a video created by Bring Them Home, the ad-hoc organization documenting the stories of more than 200 Israelis missing and taken to Gaza. “We realized he and Sapir must have been with his family in Nir Oz.”

Sasha Trufanov (right) and his girlfriend Sapir Cohen were taken hostage from Kibbutz Nir Oz in the October 7 attack by Hamas terrorists. (Courtesy)

Trufanov is an engineer employed at Annapurna Labs, an Israeli microelectronics company purchased by Amazon. His friends have tried to get Amazon to issue a statement about Sasha, but to no avail.

To raise awareness about Sasha and provoke a response from Amazon, his friends attended a recent Amazon conference in Las Vegas and hired trucks on which they placed pictures of Sasha and handed out t-shirts with his picture and the slogan “I wish I were here.”

Sasha was part of the team that developed one of the new products that was launched at the conference.

According to The Marker, Amazon has decided to remain silent because the company believes that publicizing Trufanov’s connection could hurt him.

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