Things That Matter

20 Mexican Nationals Were Evacuated From Ukraine via Air Force Plane, but at Least 90 More Mexicans Are Still Stuck in the Country

As the war between Russia and Ukraine grows increasingly more deadly, foreign countries are rushing to evacuate their citizens who have been stranded in Ukraine as the conflict mounts.

On Sunday, Mexico sent their Air Force to Ukraine to help evacuate the 22 Mexican nationals via airplane who were stuck in Ukraine.

Last Friday, Marcelo Ebrard, the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, tweeted: “President López Obrador has ordered a special flight of the Mexican Air Force to Romania to transport the families that we are evacuating from Ukraine and wish to be repatriated to our country.”

“No Mexican is going to stay in the conflict zone,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said on Sunday night. “We will get them all out; governments are helping us, diplomats are helping us. The Ministry of Defense is helping through the Mexican Air Force so that our countrymen can be transferred to the country.”

The journey to evacuate the Mexican citizens was a long one, with the 22 nationals beginning their journey by bus in Kiev, Ukraine and arriving in Romania.

On Twitter, Ebrard explained that the plane would take them to Ireland, then to Canada, and finally, to Mexico.

Ebrard also shared pictures of the Mexican nationals gathered together, waiting to be taken home. In the photos, we see the evacuees in various situations: dressed in thick winter clothing, huddled together against the cold, standing with their arms full of bags, holding up a cardboard sign that read, “México,” draping a Mexican flag at the front of the bus chartered to evacuate them.

The images are heartening — they show that the human spirit can’t be broken despite the rattling circumstances one might be under.

Ebrard also added that there would “be other [planes] in the coming days” to help evacuate the estimated 90 Mexican nationals still stuck in Ukraine, waiting to go back home.

Indeed, throughout Ebrard’s Twitter threads, there are many Mexicans decrying the fact that their loved ones are still stuck in Ukraine and are not able to get in touch with the government.

“My wife is Ukrainian and her family is in the city of Kamanske,” wrote one man. “How can they apply for a humanitarian visa and asylum in Mexico? Is there a way to support them to get out?”

“I am Mexican and I have my husband there and many times he has tried to communicate with you and send emails and you never answer me,” wrote another woman. “But you have already left.”

Ebrard has been documenting the evacuation efforts on Twitter.

The war between Russia and Ukraine has captured the entire globe’s attention, with leaders from around the world imposing harsh sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine. So far, AMLO has declined to impose sanctions on Russia.

“We are not going to take any sort of economic reprisal because we want to have good relations with all the governments in the world,” said AMLO in a recent press conference.

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