Students head back to Maldives, after Russian universities agree to online classes

People stand in line to withdraw U.S. dollars and Euros from an ATM in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, File)

A large number of Maldivian students in Russia are preparing to return to Maldives, after universities in Russia agreed to switch to online classes.

While Russia continues to attack Ukraine, Russia remains relatively safe. However, essential services such as ATM withdrawals have taken a hit as countries and businesses sanction Russia for its aggression.

Russia hosts some 80 Maldivian medical students. Though Russian universities previously rejected requests to switch to online classes, the universities recently conceded following mounting pressure from foreign students and their governments.

A Maldivian student in Russia, who spoke to Sun on condition of anonymity on Sunday afternoon, said that 55 Maldivian students have written their names on the list of students who wish to return to Maldives.

Foreign Ministry has stated that the government would provide financial assistance to students in Russia and Belarus who wish to return to Maldives. Maldivian students have already been evacuated out of Ukraine.

“They have the option of attending classes either online or in-person. Most Maldivians want to return home to Maldives,” said the student.

“Foreign Ministry has also advised us to return before the situation escalates.”

She said that the first group of students were scheduled to depart from Russia later Saturday, and the rest within this week.

The student said that while no attacks had been reported inside Russia itself, there were some media reports of conflicts in the border regions, sparking fear among Maldivian students.

Russia continues to mount attacks on Ukraine. Those who have died in the conflict include foreign students.