Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently in a video address claimed that seven Sri Lankan citizens who had been held by the Russian forces since March were rescued.
However, when Sri Lanka Guardian contacted a top-ranking officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) in Moscow, has vehemently refused the Ukrainian claim by saying that was a “cooked up story” by the Ukrainian authority.
“Russia did all it could to ensure the safe return of foreign students. In total, hundreds were assisted in returning to their home countries even in absence of Russian visas,” the official told the Sri Lanka Guardian.
“Why on earth would 7 poor students be ‘held in a basement?’ Question to Sri Lanka Embassy and Ukrainian regime which is desperately seeking international attention to keep the war going,” the official questioned.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Guardian tried to get a detailed account of the incident from Mohamed Rizvi Hassen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (Resident) at the Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in Ankara, Turkey, which oversees Ukraine too but was unsuccessful.