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Russia-Ukraine war: Algerian student dies as fighting enters fifth day

Mohammed Talbi, 25, was killed in Russian bombardment of Kharkiv, his family says
Ukrainian Territorial Defence fighter examines a destroyed Russian infantry mobility vehicle GAZ Tigr after the assault on Kharkiv on 27 February 2022 (AFP)

An Algerian student was killed in Kharkiv on Sunday amid an ongoing Russian assault on the strategic Ukrainian city, the Algerian foreign ministry confirmed on Sunday.

A statement from his family said Mohammed Talbi was killed during a Russian bombardment. The 25-year-old was an aerospace engineering student in Kyiv. 

He lived in the United Arab Emirates before moving to Ukraine in 2018 to finish his studies, Algerian media said. 

Thousands of young Arabs are appealing to be rescued from Ukraine as the Russian invasion intensifies. 

More than 10,000 Arab students attend university in Ukraine due to the low cost of living and the relative safety of studying there. But many have criticised their governments for failing to take proper measures to repatriate them, and have instead sought protection in basements or in the metro station. 

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Ali Mohammed, an Iraqi student, told AFP from the western city of Chernivtsi, “we left to escape war… but it’s the same thing in Ukraine (now).”

Mohammed told AFP that he has been calling the Iraqi embassy in Kyiv around a dozen times a day since Russia launched the invasion, but no one has answered.

“We are demanding to go home. We are waiting to be rescued,” he said. According to an Iraqi government official, there are 5,500 Iraqis in Ukraine, 450 of them students. 

Algeria has not asked its 1,000 nationals living in Ukraine to leave. Authorities have, however, urged them to stay indoors and only leave “in case of an emergency”.