Arindam Bagci, a spokesman for the Indian Foreign Ministry, told tweet: “We confirm with deep sorrow that an Indian student lost his life in the shelling in Kharkov this morning. The ministry keeps in touch with his family. “
Bagchi added that the Indian Foreign Minister called on the ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to help ensure “urgent safe passage of Indian citizens” stranded in Kharkov and other conflict zones in Ukraine.
The Algerian Foreign Ministry has confirmed that a citizen was killed in the fighting in Kharkov over the weekend and that Algeria will work to repatriate his body.
His family told the television channel and news site al-Araby that Mohamed Talby, 20, studied engineering in Ukraine and had just graduated a few months ago. They describe him as a man who is “ambitious” and “loves life.” His father said he had taken refuge in a shelter with other foreign students during the fighting.
“I tell this crazy world, we want to live in peace in all parts of the world,” his father said said. “Enough of this murder because of the murder.”
Other students say they have been abandoned by their home countries and have not been offered help, with relatives of those stranded in Ukraine going to local embassies to seek support.
Approximately 10,000 students from around the Arab world are enrolled in Ukrainian universities, AFP reported, and Africans reportedly make up 20 percent of international students there. Many are attracted to Ukraine because of their affordable education, while others choose Europe as a refuge from violence and other troubles at home.
“We left Iraq to escape the war, but it’s the same in Ukraine,” Ali Mohammed, an Iraqi student, told AFP in a telephone interview.
“We insist on going home. We are waiting to be saved, “he said, adding that he had failed to reach the Iraqi embassy in Kyiv.
“We are citizens of Nigeria and we need help,” 19-year-old student Sarah Ajifa Idachaba told the German newspaper DW. “Please don’t ignore us. “Don’t leave us alone,” she said.
The official website for foreign students studying in Ukraine has not been available to Post reporters since Monday morning. An error message said the site was “inaccessible.”
Topics Rosabel Ceye-Ocotie, a Nigerian who is studying medicine in Ukraine, told DW that she was scared and that little guidance had been provided. “The information we receive from Nigeria is mainly that we are alone,” she said.
Ghanaian engineering student Percy Aachen-Jeboa told Reuters in an interview Thursday that it was probably “a little late to evacuate” and that he would remain trapped in an underground bunker.
“In a situation like this, you are alone. “You have to find the best way to find refuge for yourself,” he said.
Two British women in the United Kingdom are working to raise funds to support African and Caribbean students who have been stranded in Ukraine following reports of racist incidents on social media.
Troubled Indian students have made desperate calls on social media for help with the evacuation as the government intensifies efforts to bring them back through neighboring countries such as Romania and Hungary.
“Please help us get out now,” one student said in a video widely circulated on Twitter. “There’s a lot of panic.”
Dozens of students, often on foot, walked to the borders in the snow without much food and water. So far, at least six evacuation fields have returned hundreds of students.
But for those blocked in the eastern part of the country, where fighting is intensifying, there is no way out. Sheikh Abrar, a 22-year-old medical student from Kashmir, is in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy, about 32 miles from the Russian border, and said the last few days have been a nightmare.
Every time the emergency alarms go off, Abrar and his friends rush to the safety bunkers. The sounds of gunfire and sometimes loud booms increase every day.
“We’re stuck here with no means to escape,” Abrar said. “It’s horrible.”
There were no trains available when some fellow students tried to leave the city. Food and money supplies are declining dangerously. Abrar said they eat less to keep supplies.
He was unable to contact Indian embassy staff. “We don’t know what will happen,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine advised all its citizens, including students, to “Leave Kyiv urgently” by train or otherwise.
Ginny Patel, 20, an Indian student at Uzhhorod University in the far west of Ukraine, has been stuck in Kyiv since February 24 and has taken refuge at the embassy with hundreds of other students. On Monday, Patel said, the embassy said it should try to leave Kyiv immediately without providing any assistance.
The walk from the embassy to the station was risky as armed fighters roamed the streets and an air raid siren sounded. After riding in two crowded trains where there was barely room to stay, Patel reached Uzhgorod on Tuesday and will try to reach the Hungarian border.
“Thank God we’re safe now,” Patel said. “But I beg you [the authorities] evacuate students from hazardous areas immediately. “
Those in western Ukraine were more fortunate. 19-year-old Avinash Chaturvedi, who studies in the city of Uzhgorod, not far from the Hungarian border, managed to get on a bus with dozens of other students.
“We would have been without food if we had stayed longer,” Chaturvedi said. “We were in a panic.”
Embassy officials, Chaturvedi said, told him they were in a safer area in the west and that their efforts were focused on helping those in other areas, such as Kyiv.
About 18,000 Indian students are enrolled in Ukrainian universities, mainly studying medicine, according to the Indian Embassy in Kyiv. Abrar and Chaturvedi chose to study in Ukraine because places for medical students in public colleges in India are few and difficult to secure. Private medical universities are too expensive, making destinations like Ukraine more attractive.
“I’m really worried about my education,” Chaturvedi said. “But for now, I just want to go home.”
Ellen Francis of London contributed to this report.