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Emotional reunions as Vietnamese flee Ukraine, reach home

By Giang Huy   March 8, 2022 | 05:14 am PT
Emotional scenes played out Tuesday morning after a special flight carrying 287 Vietnamese citizens from Ukraine landed at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport.
The flight took off at 7:35 p.m. local time (23:35 Hanois time) on March 7 from Henri Coandă International Airport in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. According to Vietnam Airlines, flight VN88 landed safely at Noi Bai airport at 11:30 a.m.

The flight took off at 7:35 p.m. local time (23:35 Hanoi time) on March 7 from the Henri Coandă International Airport in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines said Flight VN88 landed safely at 11:30 a.m.

Pham Quang Hieu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, welcomes returnees at the airport.

Pham Quang Hieu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, welcomes returnees at the airport.

After nearly 11 hours of direct flight from Bucharest, 287 overseas Vietnamese returned to their homeland, including 85 children under 12 years old.

After a direct flight from Bucharest lasting nearly 11 hours, 287 overseas Vietnamese returned to their homeland, including 85 children under 12 years old.

Citizens returning from Ukraine carry out immigration procedures before entering Vietnam.

The returnees complete immigration procedures.

A kid is tired after a long flight, laying down on her mothers shoulder during immigration procedures.

A child naps on her mother’s shoulders during the immigration procedures.

Some people who lost their documents were guided by competent forces to carry out immigration procedures.

Some people who lost their documents were guided by officials to complete their immigration procedures.

Most families only carry a few suitcases, mainly bringing light items with them.

Most families only carry a few suitcases, mainly bringing light items with them.

Kieu Kim Du, a native of northern Nam Dinh Province, is happy to see her relatives again after many years.

Kieu Kim Du, a native of northern Nam Dinh Province, is happy to see her relatives again after many years.

Nguyen Duy Thanh, of Nam Dinh, has returned from Ukraine with his wife and two children.I am very emotional when I return to my hometown and reunite with my family. But most importantly, my entire family has safely fled the conflict zone.

Nguyen Duy Thanh, of Nam Dinh, has returned from Ukraine with his wife and two children.
"I am very emotional when I return to my hometown and reunite with my family. But most importantly, my entire family has safely fled the conflict zone."

Nguyen Doan Long hugs his niece and nephew as soon as he stepped out of the airport. I was born and raised in Ukraine. Due to the complicated situation there, my whole family decide to return Vietnam, Long said.Over 3,500 ethnic Vietnamese have evacuated Ukraine since Russia began its attack nearly two weeks earlier. Before conflicts between Ukraine and Russia broke out, there were around 7,000 Vietnamese living in Ukraine, mostly in major cities like Kyiv (around 800 people), Kharkiv (around 3,000) and Odessa (around 3,000).

Nguyen Doan Long hugs his niece and nephew as soon as he steps out of the airport. "I was born and raised in Ukraine. Due to the complicated situation there, my whole family has decided to return Vietnam," Long said.

Families say goodbye to each other before parting for their hometown.  On March 10 and March 12, two more special flights will head to Poland and Romania to continue bringing Vietnamese people home.

Families say goodbye to each other before parting for their hometowns.
On March 10 and March 12, two more special flights will head to Poland and Romania to bring Vietnamese citizens home.
Russia began a "special military operation" on Ukraine on Feb 24. Over 3,500 ethnic Vietnamese residents have evacuated Ukraine since Russia began its attack.
Before the conflict broke out, around 7,000 Vietnamese were living in Ukraine, mostly in major cities like Kyiv (around 800 people), Kharkiv (around 3,000) and Odessa (around 3,000).

 
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