Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) A total of 22 Taiwanese nationals have been evacuated from Ukraine to Poland and Slovakia after fleeing the eastern European country in the wake of the Russian invasion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Sunday.
The 22 included 18 Taiwanese and their spouses who arrived in Poland on a bus arranged by Taiwan’s government 46 hours after fleeing Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, the ministry said.
The bus cleared Ukraine-Poland border inspections around 8 p.m. Saturday (Taiwan time) before heading to the eastern Polish city of Lublin where they were greeted by Taiwan’s representative to Poland Bob Chen (陳龍錦) and other diplomats, MOFA said in a press release.
They were given Taiwanese cuisine and bubble tea after their long ordeal, it added.
After a brief rest, the bus took them to Poland’s capital city Warsaw where the evacuees will decide whether to return to Taiwan or head to other locations, MOFA said.
Meanwhile, in a separate evacuation mission, MOFA said four Taiwanese arrived in Slovakia from Ukraine on Sunday morning.
MOFA thanked the Polish and Slovakian governments for facilitating the evacuation missions.
Despite the two successful evacuations, MOFA said 14 Taiwanese citizens remain in Ukraine, including seven in Kyiv.
The ministry said it will keep in contact with them and offer all necessary help if they choose to leave the country.
The bus that arrived in Poland on Saturday left around 10 p.m. Thursday, hours after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine, following weeks of escalating tensions.
It then headed to Lviv, around 500 kilometers from Kyiv near the Polish border.
Due to the heavy traffic caused by large numbers of people fleeing Kyiv and eastern Ukraine, where several cities are under Russian attack, the journey took much longer than expected, according to MOFA.
According to foreign media reports from Ukraine, Russian forces have carried out airstrikes on several Ukrainian cities and military bases, sent in troops and tanks from three sides of the country, and have hit an oil depot in Kyiv as it closes in on Ukraine’s capital.
More than 120,000 people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s assault began Thursday, a United Nations official told CNN, and there are queues at a number of border crossings.
Many people still in the country are sheltering underground, including in the capital’s subway stations, or have taken up arms to fight the Russian troops.
Taiwan on Friday announced that it would join the United States, European Union and other countries in imposing sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which Taipei condemned as unilaterally changing the status quo.
(By Joseph Yeh)
Enditem/cs/AW

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