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'Waiting for a miracle': Russians in Thailand among 25,000 stranded abroad by coronavirus

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'Waiting for a miracle': Russians worry as 25,000 stranded abroad by coronavirus

By Dmitriy Turlyun

 

2020-03-28T153838Z_1_LYNXMPEG2R0H9_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-RUSSIA.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Drivers, who cooperate with Yandex.Taxi online ride-sharing service, wait for specialists to have their cars sanitized and to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Yandex.Taxi drivers' centre in Moscow, Russia March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

 

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Savelyov, a Russian stuck on an island off Thailand, is among 25,000 Russian nationals stranded far from home because of myriad restrictions on transport imposed over the coronavirus.

 

Savelyov, who lives in China, went on what looked like a routine trip to Thailand to renew his visa, but was trapped after travel to and from an island he visited was abruptly stopped.

 

"Leaving by road is not an option, nor is by boat and now you can't even fly because the flights were cancelled," he said.

 

"Basically, we're sitting here and waiting for a miracle."

 

Russia, which has reported 2,777 coronavirus cases on its soil, last week suspended international flights in and out of the country, with the exception of special flights to repatriate its own citizens.

 

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday 25,000 people abroad had appealed for help getting home. But some of the stranded tourists complained the response had been limited.

 

"Ten days have already passed (and) we realised that calling the embassy makes no sense," said Maxim Mikhailov, a professional volleyball player, who is stuck in the small Balkans republic of Montenegro.

 

"There is just nothing to do here, we just wait as life passes by. I really want to get back to Russia."

 

Darya Kochelaevskaya, another Russian tourist in Montenegro, said the response from Russia's foreign ministry and its local embassy was always the same: "There is no information. Wait."

 

Others said they were worried about money as they were unable to work while abroad and had also taken a hit from the rouble currency's plunge in value amid coronavirus-related uncertainty and plummeting prices for oil, Russia's main export.

 

"The money isn't endless, money runs out, even despite help from our hosts," said Artem Rodionov, another tourist in Montenegro.

 

"It's depressing basically, and I should have gone (back) to work by now, but this uncertainty...Just like other people, we can't even work out how many days it will last."

 

(Reporting by Dmitry Turlyun; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Tom Balmforth and Mark Heinrich)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-04-02
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54 minutes ago, Chomper Higgot said:

I know of a Russian family with young children who are are being helped out with food and essentials by neighbors in the condo they are living in.

 

I suspect there are a lot of people helping strangers out but it’s not the news folks get to read.

In that case it´s very nice of people, and I am sure many people help each other out in times like this. However, that is not the main point. The main point is that they are stranded with young children. Something that could have been avoided with a bit of buffer and good planning as well as seeing the signs and using their brains.

 

Now they made an irresponsible choice that endanger children instead. STUPID!

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5 hours ago, cornishcarlos said:

 

Yes, I believe at a local level people in most countries are supporting each other and stranded visitors...

What is really annoying, none of the huge companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google etc seem to be coming to the table with assistance !!

Maybe they are and I just haven't read about it, but these people usually like everyone to know if they are doing something good....

Yes my local shop has been very good,but it's for local people only. There never any shouting or trouble there.

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6 hours ago, Crazy Alex said:

Stranded in Thailand. Sorry, but I could think of a lot worse things to happen.

No money, no honey

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Russians didn't believe in the virus at first, even when it invaded Europe,  now they pay the prize.  

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