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5 Days, 2 Border Crossings, Long Wait: My Journey From Ukraine to Home in India

On 2 March, after waiting for more than 24 hours, I finally boarded my flight to India at Bucharest airport.

My Report
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With Ukraine shutting its airspace on 24 February following the Russian invasion, many students like me were left stranded in the country.

I had booked my tickets for 8 March but things did not go as planned. The situation in the city I lived in was getting worse with time. So, my friends and I decided to leave for India via Moldova and Romania.

On 27 February, we left for Moldova which is around 40-50 km from Odessa, Ukraine. It was the nearest border for us. All the arrangements, including the transport to the border, were made by us.

Ready to leave for Moldova.

(Image courtesy: Firoz Ahmed Khan)

After travelling for six hours, my friends and I finally reached Moldova. It was late, so we decided to stay there for the night. The volunteers at the Moldova border were very helpful and kind. All of us stayed at shelter homes or at the hostels provided by the medical universities in Moldova.

On 28 February, we left for Romania after our immigration check at the border. It took us really long to reach there, as we had to wait for four hours to get our immigration done.

After travelling for eight hours, we finally reached Bucharest airport in Romania on 1 March.

Firoz and his friends waiting at the Bucharest airport. 

(Image courtesy: Firoz Ahmed Khan)

On 2 March, after waiting for more than 24 hours, I finally boarded my flight to India. I landed in Delhi around 5 am on 3 March. It was a relief to be back. Nodal officers were present at the airport and we were asked to contact them for any kind of help.

'I Am Home But Bring Others Back Too'

Thankfully, I reached home safely. However, it is not just about me, but also the other 20,000 students who went through the same problem. Students stuck in Ukraine were not able to cross the borders for days.

The evacuation did not take place on time and we had to pay for it, and we are still paying for it. Students are taking buses and taxis to reach the borders and then to the airport. After reaching the airport, they have to struggle and wait there, wondering when will they get a chance to catch a flight to home.

Backhome to my family in Mumbai.

(Image courtesy: Firoz Ahmed Khan)


Finally, on 4 March, I reached home in Mumbai and met my family. I hope that each and every student who is suffering in Ukraine comes back home soon.


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