A handful of Malaysians staying put in Ukraine, join territorial defence army

Ms Fadhilah Daud (centre), the Chargé d'Affaires ad interim of the Malaysian Embassy in Ukraine, with some evacuees. PHOTO: WISMA PUTRA/FACEBOOK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - While some Malaysians are being evacuated from Ukraine, a few of them are staying put at their homes in the country under siege.

Software engineer Karuna Krishnasamy, 29, one of the few remaining Malaysians in Ukraine, said he was staying with his family in the city of Odessa by the Black Sea, which is close to the area of conflict.

"I will not go to Moldova. I will stay here with my family," he told The Star on Sunday (Feb 27).

Mr Karuna said that the Ukraine military took out an enemy aircraft on Saturday.

"There are heavily armed police on the streets, and a curfew has been imposed. Civilians out after 11pm will be considered saboteurs," he said, adding that the city's occupants were calm yet prepared for any eventuality.

He added that it was only a matter of time before the Russians come for the city, which is a strategic port city.

Another Malaysian, who wants to be known only as Ahmad, 31, said he and his wife had signed up with the Ukrainian territorial defence army.

"We have been given weapons. We are staying put in Kyiv. This kind of nonsense needs to stop immediately. Today, it is in Ukraine; tomorrow; only God knows," he said.

Earlier, the last group of nine Malaysians and two foreign dependants were evacuated from Ukraine. They are expected to arrive in Malaysia soon.

In a tweet, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said a convoy, led by Charge d'Affaires ad interim of the Malaysian Embassy in Ukraine, Ms Fadhilah Daud, was received by two officials from the Malaysian Embassy at the Polish border on Saturday night.

"They are heading to Warsaw at the moment and are expected to return to Kuala Lumpur soon," he added.

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In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said the Malaysian Embassy in Kyiv successfully carried out the evacuation of Malaysians and a Singaporean from Ukraine on Friday.

"The group left Kyiv by road on Friday evening and entered Poland on Saturday night. Their arrival at the Polish border was assisted by two officials from the Malaysian Embassy in Warsaw," it added.

A total of four cars were used to carry out the evacuation mission, including two embassy vehicles.

The ministry added that small vehicles were used instead of buses, after taking into account the numbers involved in the mission, to ease movement and maintain safety throughout the journey.

The statement said that the group was scheduled to leave Warsaw for Malaysia on a commercial flight on Monday.

Prior to this, 13 Malaysians left Ukraine on Feb 14 on the advice of the Malaysian Embassy in Kyiv.

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