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Over 200 Kenyans Flee Ukraine Amid Crisis

Over two hundred Kenyan students living in Ukraine have safely fled to neighbouring Poland, to seek asylum following the Russian military invasion.

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau April 14, 2020. FILE

The President of the Kenyan Students Union in Russia and the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS), Harrison Talo, confirmed the reports noting that the students were received by the Polish government and were safe.

Talo admitted that other students still remain stranded in some of the hard-hit areas, but measures were put in place to track and help them find their way to the Polish border.

Ukrainian military vehicles on the side of the road outside Severodonetsk on Thursday.

“So far, 201 students were well-received in Poland and are safe. However, we still have some who are stuck, but we are in communication with them to help them find their way to the border,” revealed the student leader.

Notably, in a notice dubbed urgent by the Polish Embassy in Nairobi, the students will only be allowed to stay in Poland for 15 days as they look for means to get back to Kenya.

“In accordance with the regulations in force, they will be allowed to stay 15 days in the territory of the Republic of Poland,” read the statement in part.

This comes after the Kenyan Government signed a pact with the European countries that would see it bend backward on its immigration policy to allow Kenyans fleeing Ukraine entry without documentation.

Photo collage between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Russian President Vladimir Putin COURTESY

Kenyans living in Russia have also felt the spiral effects of the tension between Russia and Ukraine. They have decried a spike in the cost of living in the country, citing an alarming inflation rate.

“There is a high rate of inflation here, which has seen the prices of basic commodities like food shoot. Previously the exchange rate was 75 Russian Rubles for a dollar, it has since shot to 85 ” Lovi Owino stated.

On February 25, the Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Macharia Kamau, however, advised Kenyans stuck in Ukraine to leave at their will, following the escalation of the Russian dispute.

“Kenyans have been advised that if they do not feel comfortable they should leave of their own free will. They need to judge the circumstances and decide. Only parts of the country are affected by warfare,” Macharia told a local publication.



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