Panic grips Bangladeshi migrants in Ukraine since Russia encroached major cities of the country.
Khaled Hasan Khan, a 60 year-old Bangladeshi citizen living in Ukraine, shared his account amidst the ongoing conflict.
"I live in Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine. Russian troops attacked around 30 kilometres away from my home. They mainly target the houses withholding weapons so that Ukraine fails to protest," Khaled told The Business Standard over phone on Thursday afternoon.
"As we speak, I am in a grocery shop to buy some daily essentials. Before me is a long line of people with fear creeping in that no one will be able to go out in the coming days," he added. He said they have no chance to flee the country at this moment as air communication has already stopped.
"Most of the borders are occupied. Ukraine president has urged people to stay home," said Khaled.
Khaled moved to Ukraine to pursue higher education back in 1984. There, he married a Bangladeshi student. The couple have been living in Kyiv with their two children since 1997. In 2005, Khaled obtained the Ukrainian citizenship.
Thousands of Kyiv residents were seen fleeing the city after an emergency siren went off following Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of the military operation into Ukraine at 5:55am (Moscow time).
Streams of cars clogged up the expressways, reports BBC.
Social media testimonies speak to a growing sense of panic, with some saying they are being rushed into bomb shelters and basements. Television footage shows people praying in the streets, huddled in groups.
Many people in Kyiv have rushed to underground metro stations to take shelter. Others have boarded buses to leave the city, and there are queues of cars trying to get out.
According to unofficial estimates, about 500 Bangladeshis are currently living in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the relatives of Bangladeshi migrants in Ukraine are worried about their near and dear ones.
"My son, his wives and some other relatives are living in Kyiv. We are worried about their safety as we have been watching terrifying news on TV," said Abdus Salam, a resident of Ibrahimpur area of Dhaka. "We can do nothing but pray for their safety," he added.
Last Tuesday, Bangladeshi nationals living in Ukraine were advised to leave the country temporarily due to uncertainties caused by the current situation there, according to a circular issued by the Bangladesh embassy in Warsaw, the capital of Poland.
Dhaka proffered the advice as international intelligence reports said that Russia was set to invade Ukraine's western part within a few days.