Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry has announced that it expects to receive the first batch of evacuees from Ukraine on Thursday.
This was announced through a press statement by Gabriel Aduda, the ministry’s permanent secretary.
According to Mr Aduda, “the chartered flights (Air Peace, Max Air) will depart on Wednesday, March 2, to pick up Nigerian evacuees back home.”
He added that the Nigerian embassies in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia have received 650, 350, 940 and 150 persons respectively from Ukraine.
On the routes and capacity for the air lifts, Mr Aduda noted that Max Air will lift 560 persons from Romania while Air Peace will lift 364 persons from Poland and 360 from Hungary.
The Nigerian government had on Monday announced that it will begin evacuation of Nigerians fleeing Ukraine from Wednesday.
Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs, made this known at a meeting with Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representative.
There are over 5,000 Nigerian students in Ukraine, the Nigerian embassy in Ukraine has ascertained.
Russia launched a military attack on Ukraine on Thursday and has sustained it despite sanctions by the U.S. and its allies.
READ ALSO: Russian Invasion: Visa-free access approved for Nigerians entering Romania, Hungary from Ukraine
Five days into the crisis, the situation remains tense with major Ukrainian cities like Kyiv and Kharkiv already targeted. Russia, however, says it is only targeting military facilities.
Russia and Ukraine have commenced unconditional talks at the Ukranian-Belarusian border.
The UN human rights office says at least 136 civilians, including 13 children, have been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine last week.
Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the UN human rights office, said 400 others were wounded.
Ms Throssell noted that the real toll is likely to be much higher, adding that 253 of the casualties were in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.
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