Eighteen students of Trinity College Dublin who are studying on an exchange programme in Russia are receiving “one-to-one” support from the college as the war in Ukraine intensifies.
This is amid a ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory from the Irish Government to the Russian Federation, given the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A college spokesperson told Independent.ie that Trinity is providing students with the supports they need, “including assistance with any travel arrangements”.
The college said it is working with the students “on a one-to-one basis” and asked how students would return to Ireland from Russia, Trinity said it could not “comment on individual students’ situations”.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar on Tuesday said there are roughly 50 Irish students currently studying in Russia.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has said that there are “severely limited or no flight routes to the EU”, and Irish citizens wishing to return to Ireland via air “are advised to book flights via Istanbul, Dubai, or Abu Dhabi”.
The DFA is advising against all travel to Russia at the present moment, and advised all Irish citizens temporarily in Ukraine to leave as “quickly as possible”, given the geopolitical tension between Russia and the West.
“In light of rapidly deteriorating flight corridors, Irish citizens in Russia on a temporary basis may soon find themselves without viable routes back to Ireland,” the DFA said.
The no travel advisory is due to the “rapidly deteriorating flight and transport options in and out of the country”.
The Department also advised Irish citizens in Russia to be “vigilant about their own safety” and “avoid mass gatherings” due to civil unrest in many cities.
The OVD-Info human rights group which tracks political arrests in Russia said 6,440 have been detained in anti-war demonstrations in different cities across the country.
“There are reports of demonstrations and subsequent arrests in different cities in Russia. Irish citizens in Russia should be vigilant about their own safety and avoid mass gatherings.
“In addition, there are reports of banking difficulties with some banks in Russia, including issues with Irish bank cards and international bank transfers. There are likely to be further banking difficulties, particularly with international banks, over the coming period,” a department spokesperson said.