Some Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. PHOTO | COURTESY | NIGERIANS IN THE DIASPORA COMMISSION (NIDCOM)
The latest 301 returnees were received by top officials of the Federal Government led by the Director of Legal and Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Bolaji Akinremi.
Nigerians have so far been repatriated from Poland, Romania and Hungary, countries they had fled to when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Nigeria has successfully evacuated another 301 of its citizens from Ukraine following the outbreak of war, bringing the total number of evacuations to 1,800.
However, many more are still stranded in Ukraine and have called for help to return home.
The 301, mainly students stranded in Sumy in Ukraine, were brought home on board Air Azman from Budapest, Hungary. They arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Saturday night.
This is the sixth batch of returnees in the ongoing evacuation approved by President Muhammadu Buhari since war broke out between Ukraine and Russia on February 23, 2022.
The latest returnees were received by top officials of the Federal Government led by the Director of Legal and Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Bolaji Akinremi.
According to the ministry, a corridor was created for them to leave the city after negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Government of Ukraine.
Earlier on March 11, 2022, about 123 evacuees who had made their way to Poland were brought back home.
The Nigerians have so far been repatriated from Poland, Romania and Hungary, countries they had fled to when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Mr AbdurRahman Terab, head of Technology Transfer Innovation at the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), reported that $100 was given to each returnee in addition to N5000 airtime for them to contact their families.
The returnees were also undergoing screening, documentation, and Covid-19 tests.
A group of 23 students at Kherson State Maritime Academy are pleading for help to leave Ukraine. Russian forces seized Ukraine’s port city of Kherson, which has a population of 290,000 people, on March 3 following a three-day siege.
It was the first major city to fall following Moscow’s invasion.
The students want the government to urge Russian authorities to declare a ceasefire so they can be safely evacuated from the city.
They said they have spent about 15 days sleeping in basements as Russia’s offensive intensifies.
“Please we want to go home. Everybody is cold. In a normal life, we have heaters in our home. But in case of war, we are stuck underground where there is no heater.
“Please, talk to the mayor of Kherson, talk to the people of Russia. Let them come in agreement, so there will be ceasefire for us to get a green corridor. Please, I plead with you, we don’t have provisions anymore.”
Another student said about six Nigerians have fallen ill because of the weather and the current conditions.
“There is no food to eat. We are in a critical condition,” he said. By MOHAMMED MOMOH, The East African
On Mar. 12, Ukraine accused Russia of killing seven people, including a child, in an evacuation convoy near Kyiv.
According to Reuters, the convoy was evacuating women and children from the village of Peremoha.
Ukraine's intelligence service confirmed that the convoy had left the village independently, correcting an earlier statement that stated that it had left via a "green corridor" which had previously been agreed with Russia.
The remainder of the column were forced back into the village after the Russian troops' alleged attack on Mar. 11, the service initially stated.
Reuters said it was unable immediately to verify the report.
Russia did not offer any immediate comment.
Since the start of the invasion on Feb. 24, Russia has denied targeting civilians and blamed Ukraine for their failed evacuation attempts.
Biggest blow to Russian army in decades
In an Instagram video shared on Mar. 12, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the losses of Russian troops in the past 17 days as "the biggest blow to the Russian army in decades".
"Since the beginning of the invasion, 31 battalion tactical groups of the enemy have lost their combat capability," Zelensky said, adding that Russia continues to send in more troops.
On Mar. 12, Zelensky estimated Ukraine's military casualties to be 1,300, the Kyiv Independent reported.
On Mar. 9, the Armed Forces of Ukraine reportedly said they have eliminated 12,000 Russian troops since Feb. 24.
No mention of ceasefire by Russia
According to a German government spokesperson, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and French president Emmanuel Macron called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine during a 75-minute phone call with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
However, a Kremlin statement on the call did not mention a ceasefire and accused Ukraine of using civilians as human shields.
A French presidency official said they did not detect Putin's willingness to end the war. Source: Mothership
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