Dariya Fonina, a Ukrainian tourist stranded in Sri Lanka says it would be a “nice gift” if the Sri Lanka government reduces or withdraws fees for the renewal of their visas.

She is among the estimated 1500 stranded Ukrainians in the island following the Russian invasion of their country.

Ms Fonina arrived in Sri Lanka together with her husband in late December, 2021. They were planning to go back in March.

But everything has changed due to the conflict.

“I don’t know if I’d ever go back to Ukraine,” she told ‘Sandeshaya by Saroj’ YouTube channel.

They have been remotely working from Sri Lanka but their workplaces are now shut.

Not sure how long the conflict would drag on, increased charges for visa renewal is another burden on their plates.

Though she feels safe in Sri Lanka, she is worried about her parents and other relatives in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

“We are calling each other I think every hour or so to check what is going on. People are very scared there,” she said.

“Because I’m not sure when I’ll have an opportunity to call them again.”

The situation is so uncertain, says Daria Fonina, that she can’t even imagine what her future would be.


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