Ukraine-Russia crisis: Former UAE residents among Indian students moved to bunkers

A group of students pursuing their medical studies in Ukraine has been moved to an underground shelter as a safety measure.

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Photo Supplied

Sahim Salim

Published: Fri 25 Feb 2022, 3:59 PM

Last updated: Fri 25 Feb 2022, 10:58 PM

A group of students pursuing their medical studies in Ukraine has been moved to an underground bunker as a safety measure. Some of them were to return to the UAE to their families yesterday, when Russian forces attacked the Eastern European country.

Two Indian students, Mohammed Raihan Thufail and Fawaz Nasser, were at the check-in counter of the Kiev airport on Thursday - moments away from boarding a flight to Dubai - when Ukrainian authorities shut the airspace after the Russian attack. Their flight was cancelled and had to return to his hostel.

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Photo Supplied

And today morning, they, along with several others, were asked to move to the hostel's underground bunker.

"We had stocked up on food and water yesterday. We brought them down with us. We are awaiting further instructions," Fawaz told Khaleej Times in a WhatsApp voice note on Friday.

Mohammed said hostel authorities had earlier shared the location of the bunker and how to get there.

Mohammed and Fawaz are first-year MBBS students at Bogomolets National Medical University. They had arrived in Kiev just three months ago after completing their schooling in the UAE.


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Photo Supplied

Ukraine is a popular higher education destination for students from the UAE, especially those pursuing medical studies.

Yesterday, the Indian Embassy in Kiev arranged safe accommodations for students who turned up outside the mission.

Since airspace remains shut, special teams from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs are being sent to the land borders with Ukraine in Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic and Romania. These teams will assist in the evacuation of Indians stranded there.

Fawaz said they are awaiting official instructions from the embassy on what to do next.

Russia pressed its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of the capital Friday after unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks from three sides.

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