Ghanaian students in Ukraine are appealing to government, to as a matter of urgency consider evacuating them from the Ukraine-Russia region, following reports of tensions and violent clashes.

One of them, Joseph, a medical student, told Joy News on Thursday that foreign students in the region are living in fear over the recent developments.

He said they have to rely on their Ukrainian counterparts for information about the happenings.

“The situation here is very bad, we are all confused. Last night when I was learning I heard the first explosion, it was as if it was at the back of our hostel and we all are living in fear,” he said on the Super Morning Show.

Thus, he wants the government to initiate steps to bring them home to ensure their safety.

“As of now, we are all in the rooms, but they are saying if you don’t have a shelter you should move to the underground. If God touches the heart of our government and they evacuate us, we will be very happy,” he said.

To compound their woes, he said students are saddled with the burden of having to look for food as there is a food shortage due to the events.

“Currently I have two bottles of water and four biscuits which I went out this morning to get. When I got to the shop, it was very full and there were only a few bottles of water. I wanted to buy bread but they [people] have bought all the bread from the shop, I was so shocked,” he said.

Government’s response

Evacuate us to safety immediately - Ghanaian students in Ukraine appeal to government
Shirley Ayorkor Botchway is the Foreign Minister

Meanwhile, Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it is gravely concerned about the security and safety of Ghanaians living in Ukraine following reports of tensions and violent clashes.

According to the Ministry, the government has in the meantime asked over 1,000 students and other Ghanaians to seek help at government places of shelter.

This is to ensure their safety temporarily as government “engages the authorities, our relevant diplomatic missions and our honorary consul on further measures.”

Government’s statement comes at a time when the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has called for the immediate evacuation of Ghanaian students from the Ukraine-Russia region.

“As the conflict escalates within the region, governments of countries across the world are prioritizing the evacuation of their citizens from the area, to forestall harm to their citizens. Currently, a number of students have fled the region, showing growing insecurity and fear among our students.

Evacuate us to safety immediately - Ghanaian students in Ukraine appeal to government

Some of those students including Chapter Executives of NUGS in Ukraine have touched down and made contact with the National Secretariat of NUGS, advising that urgent steps be taken to ensure the safety of their colleagues still in the region. As the mother body of Ghanaian students, the safety of our students remains our paramount concern, hence our advocacy for this line of action”, NUGS said in its statement.

Background

International media outlets have reported that Russian troops on Thursday launched their anticipated attack on Ukraine, as President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to “consequences you have never seen.”

“Big explosions were heard before dawn in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa as world leaders decried the start of an invasion that could cause massive casualties, topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government and threaten the post-Cold War balance on the continent.”

President Joe Biden has pledged new sanctions to punish Russia for the aggression.

But Putin has justified it all in a televised address, asserting that the attack was needed to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine.

He claimed that Russia does not intend to occupy Ukraine but will move to “demilitarize” it and bring those who committed crimes to justice.

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