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'Hopeless' Mission to rescue Irish student in Ukraine appears to 'backfire' after vehicle attacked

Racheal Diyaolu is one of roughly 1,700 foreign students trapped in the Ukrainian city of Sumy as shelling by Russian forces continues

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Racheal Diyaolu

Racheal Diyaolu

Racheal Diyaolu

An operation to rescue an Irish student stranded in Ukraine has failed, according to her sister.

Racheal Diyaolu (19), a medical student from Co. Carlow, is one of roughly 1,700 foreign students trapped in the Ukrainian city of Sumy as shelling by Russian forces continues.

Racheal, two other students, and a Ukrainian family were due to be picked up by two British volunteers on Sunday morning but the vehicle came under fire from Russian soldiers and never arrived.

Racheal’s sister Christiana Diyaolu tweeted: “They have been on the dangerous journey since yesterday. I was following their live stream. At 5am my sister and her two friends went to the location of the family in Sumy. Unfortunately to our horror, it seems like the operation has backfired. They were just 80km away…”

Racheal’s family have repeatedly appealed for more help from the Irish Government to get her home safely.

Christiana tweeted: “Sumy is proving to be an awful place to get to. It’s supposedly surrounded by Russian military. I don’t know how much more devastation we can take. Please, the humanitarian cease fire/corridor for evacuation should extend to Sumy.”

“From hopefulness to hopelessness in a matter of minutes. I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on my worst enemy, honest to God. There’s still hundreds of students trapped in Sumy, 3 of them. It’s been 10 days... no improvements??”

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