March 2022 Volume 18

Escape from the War in Ukraine

Dr. Glen Laman
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KC Old Boy Owen Waugh and his brother Tarek flee the war torn nation

When Russia invaded the country of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Jamaicans in the country headed west to escape the impending attacks.

Most of the Jamaicans were college students.

Among this group was KC Old Boy Owen Waugh and his brother Tarek who were final year medical students at V. N. Karmazin Kharkiv National University in the city of Kharkiv.

According to Owen, 23 Jamaican students made a run for the Polish border and on February 28, they successfully crossed into Poland at 5 am Polish time. From there they took a five-hour bus ride arranged by the Jamaican Government to accommodations that had been secured for them.

To get to Poland Owen and Tarek took a bus from Kharkiv to the western city of Lviv near the border with Poland. It took them over two days of worrisome travel.

The other Jamaicans were able to board a train which took some 25 hours to cover the over 1,000 kilometer journey. With the ever-increasing disarray, all bus and train schedules quickly went out the window.

The government of Jamaica has arranged to bring the students home to Jamaica in the coming week.

As the Russians surround the second city of Kharkiv, where their medical school is located, there are reports it has been hit by missiles, which struck the central square of the city. Several deaths are also reported.

Their school could end up in rubble.

Having escaped the terrors of war, Owen and Tarek must now contemplate their next move. They were just a couple months away from graduating as medical Doctors.

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