Eight Maldivians remain stranded in Ukraine

The Foreign Ministry has said eight Maldivian students are still stranded in Ukraine and that efforts are underway to evacuate them to Western Ukraine.

The government is working on repatriating Maldivian nationals in Ukraine after Russia declared war on Ukraine. Some students were able to fly back to the Maldives before Ukraine closed its airspace. However, until Friday night, twenty students remained stranded in Ukraine.

Providing information on evacuation attempts, the Foreign Ministry said eight Maldivian students remain in Kharkiv. While the government is working on evacuating them to western Ukraine, the long travel distance and the current situation make facilitating the arrangements extremely challenging, the ministry said. While five out of the eight Maldivians were students who could not depart from Ukraine due to various personal reasons, the families of the remaining three individuals alerted the Maldives Embassy in Berlin that they were in Ukraine on Friday, the ministry said.

Adding that the government is working on evacuating a Maldivian student in Dnipro to the Hungary Consulate near the Ukraine-Hungary border, the ministry said it is coordinating with countries neighboring Ukraine and other friendly countries to make the necessary arrangements.

According to the Foreign Ministry, fifteen Maldivian students in Ukraine's Ivano-Frankivsk are currently at the Hungary Consulate near the Ukraine-Hungary border. The Maldives government is working with the Hungarian government to ensure that the students can cross the border and travel to Hungary's capital, Budapest. Once they reach Budapest, their return to the Maldives will be arranged within two days, the ministry said.