12 Maldivians remain stranded in Ukraine

Underground metro station which Maldivian students in Kharkiv, Ukraine, were seeking shelter in. (Photo/A Maldivian student)

Foreign Ministry states there are currently 12 Maldivians stranded in Ukraine due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, and it is unclear when they can be evacuated.

In a press conference on Sunday, Deputy Tourism Minister Abdulla Humaid said that the Foreign Ministry has been closely monitoring the situation since day one.

According to Humaid, the 12 Maldivians who remain in Ukraine include eight in Kharkiv, three in Kyiv, and one in Dnipro. Half of them are students while the other half are family members.

There is also a Maldivian woman, her child, and her Egyptian husband stranded in Kharkiv.

Many of the Maldivian students in Ukraine had travelled back to Maldives before the borders closed. Humaid said that 25 students returned to Maldives on February 23.

“We were informed yesterday that there’s a Ukraininan woman married to a Maldivian and their two children in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv,” he said.

Humaid said that all Maldivian students in Ukraine received the opportunity to return to Maldives before the situation worsened, but some faced difficulties in leaving Ukraine at the time.

“The universities they were enrolled in had not decided to switch to an online medium then. The situation changed in a split second,” he said.

European countries have strict visa regulations, which continue to be enforced despite the current situation.

15 Maldivians who had been in Ukraine were allowed entrance to Hungary through talks by the Maldivian government last Friday. They will depart for Maldives on Sunday.