Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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‘No Food To Eat, Extreme Cold’: Nigerians Stuck In Kherson Call For Help


As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, about 23 Nigerian students at Kherson State Maritime Academy are calling for help from the Federal Government.

Russian forces seized the 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.

READ ALSO: Russia Ramps Up Ties With Sudan As Ukraine War Rages

They said they have spent about 15 days sleeping in bomb basements as Russia’s offensive intensifies.

“Since this place has been captured, nobody is doing anything to evacuate us from here,” one of the students said in a video obtained by Channels Television. “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 are not “feeling fine” because of the weather.

“There is no food to eat,” he said. “We are in a critical condition.”

The Federal Government has evacuated over 1,000 Nigerians back to the country since the Russian invasion began late last month.

On Saturday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama said another batch of 300 Nigerians, mostly Sumy-based Nigerian students, had been evacuated to Nigeria from Budapest.

Fake Referendum

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials on Saturday accused Russia of planning a fake referendum on creating a pro-Moscow “people’s republic” in Kherson.

“Russians now desperately try to organize a sham ‘referendum’ for a fake ‘people’s republic’ in Kherson,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted.

Due to “zero popular support”, such a referendum “will be fully staged”, he added.

“Severe sanctions against Russia must follow if they proceed. Kherson is & will always be Ukraine,” the minister added.

Kuleba drew a parallel with Russia’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014, when it held a referendum on joining Russia after deploying troops there.

The Kherson plan was following a “2014 playbook”, Kuleba said.

Ukraine’s ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova wrote on Telegram that Russian occupying forces were phoning lawmakers from the local legislature, asking them to vote for the plan.

Denisova said such a referendum would be illegal on the occupied territory, since under Ukrainian law any issues over territory can only be resolved by a nationwide referendum.

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