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By Getrude Makhafola

Premium Journalist


Russia-Ukraine: SA woman stuck in Ukraine takes to Twitter to ask for help

The South African said she and others were told to take shelter from missile strikes in a subway.


A South African woman based in Ukraine took to Twitter pleading for help as Russia’s onslaught into the country continued.

The missile strikes rained down in parts of Ukraine on the second day of Russia’s war.

Bombings spread across several cities on Friday, prompting Ukrainians to seek shelter in bunkers and basements.

More Russian tanks moved into the former Soviet country facing massive attacks on land, sea and air.

Vutlhari, with username Vuvu-M2, said she and fellow South Africans were terrified after being woken up by deafening sounds of missiles and had to abandon her home.

“We have exhausted all the possibilities for us to evacuate at our own capacity, as air and land travel have been suspended. We plead with you all to share this message so it gets to the right authorities,” she tweeted, tagging South African authorities and media.

They were advised to seek shelter in underway subways to shield themselves from the bombing, she added.

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Head of diplomacy at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) Clayson Monyela said government was working on taking the South Africans to safety.

“Our embassy has a database of South Africans in Ukraine (not more than 250). We’re in touch with all of them. We’re working closely with the Nigerian embassy to assist other Africans as well,” he tweeted on Thursday.

A hotline has been set up to assist those stranded in the war-torn country.

According to Expats South Africa on Friday, students were being moved to safety.

“They left the subway that they took shelter under last night to get onto a free train that was leaving their area in the early hours of this morning,” read the tweet on Friday.

The South African government on Thursday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to immediately halt the military attacks, urging respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence.

“We regret that the situation has deteriorated despite calls for diplomacy to prevail,” said DIRCO which also highlighted that no country is immune to the effects of this conflict.

“As the United Nation Secretary-General has indicated, the conflict will have a huge impact on the global economy in a moment when we are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and so many developing countries need to have space for the recovery.

“We also urge all parties to approach the situation in a spirit of compromise, with all sides respecting international law.

“In light of the escalating conflict, we call on all parties to resume diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the concerns raised expressed by Russia,” said Dirco Minister Naledi Pandor.

South Africans stuck in the Ukraine can call the following hotline to receive assistance and advice: (+48) 47 721 75 75.

NOW READ: Russian aggression must be condemned, says SA Ukraine body

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