Bulgarian Consul in Odessa: I Apologize to Everyone that We Failed to Help

Business | March 2, 2022, Wednesday // 11:17|  views

After organizing the evacuation of hundreds of people since the beginning of the war in Ukraine and after a trip that lasted about 24 hours, late last night the Bulgarian employees of our consulate in Odessa returned home.

Refugees and Diplomats from Ukraine arrived in Bulgaria

On BNT Consul General Svetoslav Ivanov told first-hand about the experience of the last week - the shelling, the organization of an evacuation in the conditions of the unknown war, the relief when you find out that you helped someone.

“I want to apologize to all the people to whom we could not respond to their wishes and help them. There were many requests. The staff we worked in was limited - you know - 4-6 people together with the locals. There were very stressful moments. We worked 15 to 17 hours a day. On the third day, we remembered we hadn't eaten anything and went to get food from the store. I want to apologize to all those people we couldn't respond to their wishes. There were probably times when the nerves of the people at the consulate simply did not endure, but the conditions under which we worked were very difficult.” said Ivanov.

He added that many people have signed up for evacuation, but have not been able to arrive in Odessa because they live in remote areas.

Despite the evacuation of our missions from Ukraine, the diplomats are trying to help the Bulgarians there from a distance by answering their inquiries and providing them with up-to-date information. The consulate secretary stayed where she was and answered the phone.

“We offered our employees from Ukraine to come with us, but they refused. The phones will work until the funds provided by the mobile operator are exhausted. Evacuation from Odessa is still possible, but there is always a risk,” Ivanov said.

Ivanov said that until recently, Bulgarian diplomats in Ukraine expected a local conflict and no one believed that there would be a war throughout the country.

The Bulgarian missions remained one of the last operating European diplomatic missions in Ukraine. After the evacuation of our consulate in Odessa, only the representations of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia remained.

"We packed for 2-3 hours at night. We managed to pick up the people and left. We had an armed escort to the border. I managed to hug all the locals. Leaving, I cried - it was very difficult to leave the people who helped you to the last moment.” said Ivanov.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bulgarians in Odessa to stay at home or seek refuge

“According to our allied services, we recommend all Bulgarian citizens in the Odessa district to stay at home after 10 a.m. or look for the nearest bomb shelter.” This is stated in a statement published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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Tags: Odessa, help, Bulgaria, Ukraine


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