An Irish medical student in Ukraine has said that today she was forced to move to another location after the area where she was staying was hit by heavy shelling and as a result the power was cut off.
Acheal Diyaolu, 19, from Co Carlow has taken refuge in Sumy, a town some 50 km from the Russian border.
Ms. Diyaolu traveled to Ukraine in November to start medical studies at Sumy State University.
“We had to leave our hostel for the time being to access internet and heating and such. Unfortunately there was a couple of bombings yesterday so a power plant was disrupted,” she told Independent.ie.
“We started by walking but we were really lucky that a taxi driver saw us walking and he was really nice, he took us to the place we wanted to go and he didn’t even charge us. He was heaven sent honestly, I know he was, he was so good.”
Ms Diyaolu said she is safe at the moment, but her family at home are very concerned for her well-being today as they are unable to contact them.
“Today was particularly difficult because there was no electricity and the network and mobile data was also shocking, so it was quite worrying that everyone at home couldn’t get in touch with me,” she said.
“But thankfully, now that I have access to power, I’ve been able to reach out to them and let them know I’m fine, that I’m safe.”
Ms. Diyaolu has been locked in her student accommodation with other international students since the conflict began.
She said the area now resembles a “ghost town” since Russian soldiers entered the country nine days ago.
“Fortunately, the area we walked through was more of a residential area, so I didn’t see any destruction or anything like that, but it was a lot scarier. Because there wasn’t much movement in those areas, it’s usually very crowded with cars and people, but now it’s a bit of a ghost town,” she said.
“A lot of people from my hostel went to the area we call hostel 3 because they were one of the few hostels that actually had internet, they also don’t have water but they had electricity so people could actually cook and stuff like that could .
“A lot of people have gone and actually gotten cabs and paid extortionate sums for cabs to go to a neighboring town.”
Ms. Diyaolu said she and her classmates had to take shelter in the dormitory bunker if they heard bombings outside.
“You kind of get used to it, every sound you hear, you’re kind of oversensitive and just wondering if it’s just someone slamming a door or if it’s actually a sound from outside, but you get used to it pretty quickly about it.” She said.
She said the students “cling to the hope” that Ukrainian and Russian delegates will agree to provide safe corridors for the evacuation of civilians.
“All we’ve heard so far is that talks are ongoing about possibly opening a humanitarian corridor to allow international students to leave the country,” she said.
“We hold out hope that this actually happens because there are so many people here who just want to get out and go back to their respective countries.
“All we really want is for the corridor to open as soon as possible because everyone who’s here is a student and literally just came here for their education. All they want is to be able to possibly continue that education, if not here then somewhere else.”
“And most of all, being with their families after such a long time and such a difficult time, so we just hope there can be a truce or an agreement that everyone comes to so that everyone can safely return to their respective places.” ”
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/today-was-especially-difficult-as-there-was-no-electricity-irish-medical-student-stuck-in-ukraine-41413288.html ‘Today was particularly difficult because there was no electricity’ – Irish medical student stuck in Ukraine