‘We haven’t eaten since Thursday’ – SA students stranded in Ukraine


Two South African students who are in Ukraine have spoken of their plight since the country was invaded by Russia and thousands were forced to flee. Like hundreds of other students, Vutlhari Mtonga and Karabo Ramolefo have been attempting to leave Ukraine, but the pair’s hopes were shattered when the train they had boarded was forced to re-route.

Ramolefo and Mtonga spoke to eNCA from inside the train, which at the time had been stationary in the city of Dubyny. They had been trying to get to Poland for safety.

“We were hoping we were going to be okay. We were going to get to the place we’re supposed to go and escape this route. But when we had to go back, people were screaming and we were inside the train, we had to stay there. Anything can happen at any time and we had to take another route. It’s been a distance and we don’t even know what is going on, the train has stopped. The police are everywhere right now,” Ramolefo said.

ALSO READ: Kremlin claims Putin is ready to send delegation to Minsk for talks with Ukraine


The students have told the broadcaster that their last proper meal was on Thursday, the same day Russia started its attacks on Ukraine. Mtonga says they couldn’t even buy food as they were leaving because all shops were closed.

“The last time we had a meal was Thursday when the bombing started. We haven’t had anything to eat. We’ve had a couple of biscuits which we took from our houses and we also have a little bit of water that we carried with us… which we have to manage a little bit by eating and drinking sparingly because we don’t know how long we are going to be here for. We haven’t had a proper meal and we don’t know what food is at this point”

Vutlhari Mtonga

The students have called on the South African government to make arrangements to help evacuate them out of Ukraine.

YOU CAN ALSO READ: Russia says ready for talks if Ukraine ‘lays down arms’

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