Ukraine returnees recount tales of horror in war zone

The students are requesting the govt\'s of both India and Ukraine, or Russia to ensure that the colleges are reopened

VISAKHAPATNAM: “The moment before the Russian missile smashed into the Ukraine building exploding in a fireball at Kharkiv on March 1 around 8 am local time, I was in a metro train at the nearest railway station after leaving my hostel in the early hours,” said 18-year-old Reddy Nomula Satya Sreeja from Visakhapatnam.

Sreeja, who safely reached her home at Ramapuram in Pendurthi on Friday, spoke to Deccan Chronicle on Saturday.

She is one of the students of Kharkiv National Medical University who reached India safely. Almost all the students, who came back to India from Ukraine, are requesting the governments of both India and Ukraine, or Russia to ensure that the colleges are reopened after summer vacation in June with online classes or even examinations after April at least.

Sreeja said, “We do not want to see our education getting a gap as we have already faced a similar situation during the Covid. We hope that the governments take the right decision for safeguarding the interests of students.”

Narrating her days in Kharkiv, Sreeja said, “We came to know about the airstrike in Kharkiv when our train was stopped for hours. After escaping from the bullets and terrific firing sounds, we managed to reach the station on March 1. Finally reached Poland from where we reached Delhi on Friday,” Sreeja said.

Another girl, K.S. Harika from Arilova, said, “Even though we safely reached home, our concerns and memories are still going around the days we spent in Ukraine and fellow Indians. I wait for normalcy to go back to my college to collect my MBBS degree certificate as I am a final year student waiting for my final exams in May.”

A first-year student Gorli Tarun from Sabbavaram said at present he was not worried about the education as he was just a first-year student, but would take his final decision after some time as he had not yet come out from the memories of war-hit Ukraine.

Speaking to this newspaper while travelling from Hungary to India after being evacuated from Kharkiv on Wednesday, N. Prasad, another student, said he had left everything including luggage and bags at Kharkiv. He even left his pet dog, Tyson, behind.

“On March 1, a Ukraine soldier helped me when we shared his duties by giving him a chance to sleep for a while in our place. The soldier also felt sad about the losses of lives and destruction of the country in the war between two people,” Prasad narrated the days he passed in Kharkiv since February 24.

Varahalara Rao, the parent of a student at Samarlakota in East Godavari district, said, “We all first thank the Indian government, particularly Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for safe passage of our children.”

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