Thousands of Indian students in Russia said they are safe in the country, even as they criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for the war against Ukraine, which has now been dragging on for nearly two weeks. They said there has been no major change in their lives and they went about their daily tasks as usual.
On the other hand, Indian students studying in Ukraine have mostly returned home after a terrifying time when Russia invaded that country on February 24.
“The situation is not scary at all. I don’t know if the Russian Federation is hiding the truth from us, but compared to the situation in Ukraine, we are much safer,” Dharma Raj Swetha, a sixth-year general medicine student at Kazan State Medical University, told Biharengineering. .com.
According to the data released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA), there are nearly 16,500 Indian students in Russia.
Some students said they were scared when they heard what happened between Russia and Ukraine, but said they were safe. “Well, when we look at the news, we are a little scared about the situation, but actually the situation here is just as normal as before. But nobody knows what the future holds,” Biswanath Sonal Yadav, a sixth-year student of Chuvash State University, told biharengineering.in.
However, Indian students said they are facing the problem of limited cash availability. Many students complained that Indian bank cards are currently not working properly in Russia. “Some Indian cards don’t work and the money in ATMs is also limited, so we try to keep as much cash in hand as possible,” Yadav confirmed.
Another student, who does not want to be named, said that she and her friends had to collect money for a few days due to lack of money. “I live with two other girls and the three of us put all our money together and used it accordingly because our cards didn’t work for almost three days and we had very little cash in hand. This was when this battle was recently Now we have individually managed to get our hands on as much cash as possible and have rationed it according to our necessary needs, because the situation has not gotten better so far,” she said.
‘Against the war’
Some Indian students in Russia also claimed that their local friends are against the war and do not support the Russian government’s decision to “attack another country”.
“I live in a rented flat and my landlords are a very sweet old Russian couple. And when I spoke to them about this, they disagreed with the means their government has adopted. I also know some Russian young people who study at my university and even they don’t support war,” said a student living in Tver.
“I’ve followed my normal routine, ie getting up early, going to college, doing my online freelance work, going out with friends and stuff. It’s weird to think that my host country is at war with another country and people are injured every day there. But here in Russia we are still sipping our tea and graduating,” said a 24-year-old Indian medical student in Russia, who declined to be named.
“It’s unfair how our peers in Ukraine have to flee what Russia is doing to them, but we’re still scrolling Instagram and liking anti-war posts. This is not only what I think, but also what the locals here think, at least those I interact with. We are safe here for the time being, but luckily we are no longer,” said the student.