THE first batch of Thai evacuees from Ukraine will be arriving home on Wednesday March 2 and will be quarantined at Sattahip naval base, the Foreign Ministry said this evening (Feb. 28)
Mr. Thani Saengrat, the ministry’s spokesperson, said Thai Ambassador to Poland Mr. Chetphan Maksamphan stated that there are 255 Thais in the country invaded by Russia which is not a lot with many of them working at spas and Thai massage parlours that are services popular there. Twenty of them have a family in Ukraine.
However evacuating them is a challenge because they are scattered in many Ukrainian cities. While the majority are in the capitl Kyiv, 48 are in Odessa, 14 in Lviv, which is a safe place because it is close to Poland. But most worrying is the safety of 14 other Thais in Kharkiv because this city is near the Russian border and they are unable to travel out.
Three weeks ago when the Russia-Ukraine tensions started escalating the embassy set up a Line group and opened a Telegram channel for Thais in Ukraine and 33 employers in Ukrainian language to facilitate communication. Moreover Thais who have Facebook accounts also forwarded the messages among them.
The main route out of Ukraine is from Kyiv to Lviv which is next to Poland and the embassy did set up an operation centre at the latter city on Feb. 24 to accept evacuating Thai and also sent vehicles to bring them across the border.
Chetphan said 99 Thais were able to escape yesterday (Feb. 27) with 60 of them arriving at the Lviv operation centre at 3 a.m. Ukrainian time today after that they travelled to Warsaw.
They will be boarding a plane back to Thailand from Frankfurt in Germany because there is no direct Thai Airways International flight from Warsaw.
The other group of 39 Thais fled with the assistance of the Thai embassy in Romania. They travelled from Odessa in southern Ukraine to Romania by walking, taking a ferry and a bus. They are now resting and are too exhausted to fly out immediately.
Top: Refugees from all over the strife-torn nation have flooded west to the city of Lviv. Photo: Avalon.red and published by Apxap.com
Home Page: Ukrainians approach the Polish border as they flee for safety. Photo: NurPhoto/PA Images and published by Mirror