Convoy with refugees from Mariupol successfully passed the Moldovan border

The operation to evacuate Greek citizens from the Mariupol region, called “Νόστος 3*”, has been successfully completed. The Greek Foreign Ministry reported that the convoy successfully crossed the border with Moldova.

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, on behalf of the government, expressed gratitude to those who contributed to the successful outcome of the operation both on the ground and in Athens under the leadership of Secretary General Themistoklis Demiris.

Η αυτοκινητοπομπή υπό τον συντονισμό του Πρέσβη Φραγκίσκου Κωστελλένου πέρασε τα σύνορα Ουκρανίας-Μολδαβίας όπου τους περίμενε κλιμάκιο της Πρεσβείας μας στο Βουκουρέστι. Η επιχείρηση #Νόστος3 ολοκληρώθηκε επιτυχώς. Συγχαρητήρια σε όσους συνέβαλαν στην αίσια έκβαση.

— Nikos Dendias (@NikosDendias)

Η αυτοκινητοπομπή υπό τον συντονισμό του Πρέσβη Φραγκίσκου Κωστελλένου πέρασε τα σύνορα Ουκρανίας-Μολδαβίας όπου τους περίμενε κλιμάκιο της Πρεσβείας μας στο Βουκουρέστι. Η επιχείρηση #Νόστος3 ολοκληρώθηκε επιτυχώς. Συγχαρητήρια σε όσους συνέβαλαν στην αίσια έκβαση.

— Nikos Dendias (@NikosDendias) March 4, 2022

“>March 4, 2022

“The motorcade led by Ambassador Frangiskos Costellenos crossed the Ukrainian-Moldovan border, where part of the staff of our embassy in Bucharest was waiting for them. Operation Nostos 3 was successfully completed. “Congratulations to those who contributed to a happy outcome,” said Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Greek citizens who left Mariupol on Wednesday spent the night from Thursday to Friday in the city of Uman (Cherkasy region). During daylight hours, with great difficulty, they managed to travel a little over 400 kilometers.

On Friday morning, a Greek convoy of 30 cars with dozens of Greek journalists and TV people set off again, with their final destination either in Poland or Moldova.

The problem is that the Russian army has made a sharp dash to the north, towards the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant, and the leader of the convoy fears that the roads towards Moldova will be too dangerous. There is also a problem in the huge queue at the Moldovan border.

Although, according to a SKAI journalist, the Greek mission started with full tanks on Friday morning, the distance to the border is no more than 200 km, but there are fears whether they will reach the border, where the lines exceed 20 km. According to the correspondent, there is a safe evacuation route, and the road to the border is estimated at five hours. But, given the complexity of the situation, this time can double.

Meanwhile, sirens have been sounding continuously in Uman since morning, and Russian Air Force planes are bombing and attacking military facilities near the city.

Like us previously reported, the Greek Foreign Ministry, in a coordinated effort, evacuated 82 Greek citizens from the combat zone in Mariupol and its environs. Consular offices in Mariupol and Odessa continue to operate as before, despite the intensification of hostilities around the city and within it.

As we reported previously, the evacuation began on the evening of March 2, and by 8 pm the convoy arrived in the city of Zaporozhye, located 300 km from Mariupol. How reports the Greek TV channel ΣΚΑΙ, a motorcade of cars led by Ambassador Francesco Costelleno left Zaporozhye in the morning and moves north through the Dnieper (Dnepropetrovsk, 85 km from Zaporozhye), and then headed west towards the Moldovan border. Further through Romania, by plane to Athens and then to Rhodes, where people will be accommodated.

Greek TV correspondent open reports that the road is very difficult, as they want to bypass the zone controlled by the Russian troops, and along the way they often have to stop at checkpoints located on the way.

The most difficult moment, according to the Greek journalist, was the first 20 kilometers, when they drove past a Russian tank at the exit from Mariupol. Later, due to a blown-up bridge, they had to drive on dirt roads until they found a way to cross to the other side of the river. At the same time, according to the journalist, warning fire was opened at the first car. Finally, they drove onto the third road, from where they had already managed to get onto the highway leading to Zaporozhye.

The Consulates General of Mariupol and Odessa, as well as the crisis management department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are in constant contact with other Greek citizens who are still in Ukraine, including Greek sailors who are in Odessa, which is blockaded by the sea.

The vast majority of ethnic Greeks decided to stay in Ukraine

The Ambassador in Bucharest with a parallel accreditation in Moldova, Sofia Grammata, in coordination with the Greek community in Romania, provides ongoing assistance to the Greeks arriving in Moldova from Ukraine.

In this regard, the Foreign Ministry recently chartered a special flight for the transportation of citizens who arrived from Kyiv and Odessa by air from Bucharest.

Upon arrival at Athens airport, they were met by the Deputy Minister for Greeks Abroad, Andreas Katsaniotis, who had previously met the Nostos-1 and Nostos-2 groups.

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias has been in constant contact with the Greek authorities in Ukraine and Romania since the beginning of the Russian invasion, and expressed his gratitude to diplomats Costellenos, Dohtsi and Androulaki for the hard work they are doing under particularly difficult conditions.

*Nostos is a theme used in ancient Greek literature that includes an epic hero returning home by sea. In ancient Greek society, this was considered a high level of heroism or greatness for those who managed to return.

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