The Impacts of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine on International Students

Globally, the unfolding crisis in Russia and Ukraine is terrifying. The subject matter and its latest developments dominate every conversation. After starting the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, escalating the conflict. Coping with this predicament with limited resources or comfort and an unlimited amount of terror is frightening for the population. During the many horror-related incidents, people are forced to leave their daily lives behind. Their lives are now filled with blood, loss, dead bodies, disasters, and weapons. In the midst of this crisis, students from other countries, like India, who have traveled to Ukraine to further their studies, are struggling to survive. In the news reports, it is stated that they were living under huge restrictions and rough adjustments before receiving the call from home. Several of them even suffered from racism. Though there were some students who were fortunate enough to embrace their homeland, there are still many who are struggling with a lack of resources and fear. It has obviously been a traumatic period for all involved. There has been no combat operation of this magnitude in Europe since the end of World War II, which explains the intensity of the situation and its inevitable consequences.

 

WAR CHANGES EVERYTHING

War is detrimental to people. It burdens them by dire circumstances. Metaphorically, it wrecks the prevailing harmony of the population. They become deeply engrossed in the graphic imagery and gory details. Aside from death, injury, sexual violence, malnutrition, displacement, illness, disability, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxieties are some of the emotional effects of war. It also wreaks havoc on cities and has long-term effects on economies. Indirect consequences of armed conflict include damage to infrastructure, health care, and social order. It takes away our freedom, education, innocence, peace, comfort, family and so much more. While the children should be delving into books, they are struggling to survive. They watch their education and a hopeful future burn into ashes. War changes everything. It paints every joyful moment in a shade of dreadful red. Every inhabitant shrinks from the screams, blood, violence, and gunfire that reverberate throughout the buildings making the entire existence problematic. Those who die leave bitter memories for their families. The person who survives or makes it through a war develops a different outlook on life. Within them, fear settles and does not flicker. 

 

THE RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE

There can be no other way to describe this invasion than the largest conventional military power play in Europe since World War II. As a result of the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, the Crimean Peninsula was occupied by unmarked Russian forces and later annexed by Russia, while pro-Russian separatists fought the Ukrainian military for control of eastern Ukraine. These events marked the beginning of the devastation for Ukraine. According to Reuters, currently, the total number of deaths is at least 13T. It is estimated that 1.8T of non-fatal injuries have been recorded, while at least 21L people have been forced to flee for their safety. Several hundred terracotta buildings and $1 trillion worth of property have been destroyed by these violent activities.

The crisis is affecting students from both countries. As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many colleges are severing ties with Russian universities and companies. Higher education institutions in the United States enroll over 5,000 Russian students and 1,700 Ukrainian students. International offices facilitate interaction between these students on campus. Protests have been held on some college campuses as a result of the invasion.

 

IMPACTS ON INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

During the June 2021 session of Parliament, the Ministry of External Affairs presented data showing the number of Indian students enrolled in educational institutions in Ukraine was 18,000. That is a higher figure than in Russia (16,500) and France (10,500). The number of Indians who have left Ukraine since the end of January has risen to over 21,000, including 19,920 who have reached India. The Indian embassy in Hungary has been organizing the evacuation procedure for the Indian students.

Over the last three decades, Indians have flocked to Ukraine in increasing numbers to pursue medical, dental, and nursing degrees. This is due to the quality of education and the affordability of the courses. International students have been affected physically and mentally as a result of the crisis. Instead of concentrating on their studies or careers, they are forced to leave the country to safeguard their life. There are a number of obvious reasons why students should give up their dream of studying in Ukraine in the near future. Those who were already enrolled have their education and future in question. Many of these students were in the midst of pursuing their MBBS degrees in Ukraine. However, as peace talks are stalling, the future for these students looks uncertain. On the bright side, certain authoritative figures are putting efforts into transferring these medical students to help them revive their education.

 

Let’s wrap up!

The crisis in Russia and Ukraine is terrifying on a global scale. The effects of war have always been detrimental to people and it changes everything. The playground where the kids engage in their merriment has turned into a graveyard. In a metaphorical sense, war ruins harmony among the populace. In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine to escalate the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. As a result of the shuddering incidents, people are forced to abandon their daily lives and adapt to a new existence in constant fear of loss, bloodshed, disaster, and weapons. The crisis has made it difficult for students from other countries, such as India, to continue their studies in Ukraine. They lived with hardships before they could rescue themselves. There are still many students from different countries, struggling for their life. The intensity of the situation and its inevitable consequences can be explained by the fact that Europe hasn’t seen a combat operation of this magnitude since the end of World War II. The future of these students seems vague but rather than being stranded in a war zone fighting for life, what matters most is their safe arrival at their unassailable haven.

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