Iran sends plane to Poland to pick up students stranded in Ukraine

March 1, 2022 - 22:7

TEHRAN- Iran has sent an airplane to Poland to bring back its citizens, mostly students, who have traveled from Ukraine whose airspace has been closed to civilian flights amid a raging conflict with Russia.

“The first special flight to transfer compatriots from Poland to our country will take off a few hours later. So far, 300 students have been settled in Warsaw alone,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a tweet early Tuesday.

“Extensive efforts are being made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and our embassies in Ukraine and neighboring countries will bring our nationals back to the country with the least difficulty,” he added. 

Earlier, Iran Air announced an Airbus A330 had departed Tehran for Warsaw to bring back Iranians, largely students, who had become stranded in Ukraine following the outbreak of war on Thursday.

The Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Tehran’s embassy in Kyiv remained operational, expressing sorrow for "some hype on social networks."

Iran's Ambassador to Ukraine, Manouchehr Moradi, paid a visit to Iranian students holed up at a shelter in Kyiv on Friday, after a video of them went viral.

The ambassador told them that the government will do everything possible to return them.

“The most important current mission of Iran’s Foreign Ministry is to fully and urgently address the situation of Iranians living in Ukraine, which is underway according to predictions made using all capacities,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

According to figures from Ukraine's Ministry of Education and Science, around 80,000 international students study in the country. India has the most, followed by Morocco, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Nigeria.

On social media, students and their supporters have asked their home governments to charter planes out of the country, sharing locations where students were stranded, and offering advice about where to find shelter. Users have also circulated emergency contact numbers for stranded students from various countries, Press TV reported.

The Nigerian government began the evacuation of its nationals from Ukraine as the tension between Russian and Ukrainian forces erupts. A total of 256 Nigerian citizens were evacuated from Ukraine and received in Romania, Hungary, and Poland. This is out of a total number of around 5600 Nigerians, the vast majority of whom are students.

On Monday, China evacuated its first group of people from Ukraine, comprising approximately 400 Chinese students from Odessa and 200 from Kyiv. According to the Chinese Embassy in Kyiv, roughly 1,000 additional Chinese residents would be evacuated from Ukraine on Tuesday to neighboring countries such as Poland and Slovakia.

Turkey has begun evacuating its residents from Ukraine in the midst of Russia's attack on the country, and its citizens shared the joy of arriving home safety. 

As part of the Turkish Foreign Ministry's evacuation plan, 220 Turkish nationals entered Turkey in five buses through the Kapikule Border Gate at the Turkish-Bulgarian border.

India has also stepped up its efforts to rescue its citizens who are trapped in towns and border crossings in Ukraine. At least three rescue aircraft are scheduled to bring back the stranded Indians this afternoon. This comprises two flights from Bucharest, Romania's capital city, and one from Budapest, Hungary's capital. The planes were to touch down in Mumbai and Delhi.

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