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BRAVE JOURNEY I was in panic mode to get home after Russian invasion, says Irish student Racheal Diyaolu after fleeing Ukraine 2022

She said she was in “panic mode” when Ukraine was invaded.

She was studying medicine in the Ukrainian city of Sumy when war broke out. She couldn’t return home to Ireland.

 

Racheal Diyaolu

 

On Friday night’s Late Late Show, Racheal bravely recounted her ordeal in getting home.

During an interview with Ryan Tubridy, she revealed: “I was studying medicine for three and a half months in Ukraine back in November of 2021.”

Everything was well until the day of the invasion, although we had heard rumblings from home that something was up.

“We were there for a few days and heard on the news that Russia was up to something.”

And the 19-year-old shared her thoughts on returning home when the Irish government first requested that Irish citizens leave the country.

Her university advised her that school was “going on as usual” and that reports of an invasion were “overblown.”

We were invited to return home about a week before the invasion took place by our government, and I told my school about the request.

“However, they insisted that school was going as normal,’ therefore it’s business as usual,” I countered. ‘You know what will happen if you miss a class.’

All flights were canceled on that day. I had a flight scheduled for this Sunday, but it was canceled as well.

Students were in panic mode at that moment and had no idea how they were going to get home.

When Joe McCarthy and Gary Taylor, the Scottish volunteers who helped Racheal return to Ireland, were approached by Russians, they were detained at gunpoint.

After the traumatic encounter, she expressed her fear that the couple might not return to pick her up.

 

‘MISSION IMPOSSIBLE’

Racheal disagreed: “They refused to give up, being the incredible men they are.

“They referred to it as “Mission Impossible,” and they were prepared to carry it out. We were picked up by them on Monday, and we set off on our journey the following morning.”

Racheal also revealed that the journey had taken a total of three days.

In the beginning, they intended to cross the border into Poland, but in the end, they decided to go towards Moldova and Romania instead.

The following is what she had to say: “Getting through the checkpoints was a little unnerving due to the presence of armed guards.

You should be able to get through if you just comply, I tried to stay calm and realize that they’re in control.”

 

EMOTIONAL HOMECOMING

Racheal’s sister, Christiana, described how emotional the family was when she landed in Dublin Airport on Thursday night after chronicling her adventure online.

She said: “She hadn’t shown up yet, but we’d been camping out there for days. “Racheal?” We said to everyone who entered the room. No. Racheal? No.’

“So when it was finally Racheal, we immediately raced and hugged her when she came running out.

“It was great, but I just have a vague memory of it since everything happens so rapidly while you’re in the heat of the moment. Just having her here with us is a blessing.”

 

MUM’S WORRIES

Mum Yummy also admitted to Tubridy that she cried “day and night” because she was terrified about Racheal being trapped in Ukraine.

‘The instant Christiana told me that someone is bringing her to me, I was praying to God that I will see her again.

After they told me that Joe and Gary couldn’t make the trip any longer, I thought “Oh my God, what’s going to happen?”

A trip to Dublin has been organized for Racheal after she arrived in Frankfurt, Germany, from Bucharest.

Finally, Racheal boarded a flight from Frankfurt to Dublin, which landed at roughly 11 pm on Thursday – her fourth day of traveling.

Racheal described her flight as “anxious” as she walked through the Dublin Airport arrivals halls after being met by loved ones waving a welcome banner.

 

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