The two nuns hailing from Northeast state of Mizoram in India, who had refused to leave war-ravaged Ukraine, are safe.
This was informed by the family members of the two Mizoram nuns.
The two Missionaries of Charity (MC) nuns from Mizoram had refused to return back home in India when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The two Mizo nuns vowed to stay in Ukraine alongside over 30 homeless Ukrainians amidst the full-scale military invasion of the country by Russia.
The two nuns are safe and in good health and are staying put at a hideout in Kyiv – the capital of Ukraine, family sources informed.
The two Mizo nuns: Sister Rosela Nuthangi (65) and Sister Ann Frida (48) are in Kyiv along with 37 homeless Ukrainians, a student from Kerala and 3 other sisters from other countries.
While Sister Rosela Nuthangi hails from Sihphir village, about 15 km north of Aizawl, Sister Ann Frida (48) is from Aizawl’s Electric Veng locality.
The two Mizo nuns are currently taking refuge in a storehouse in Kyiv, the sources said.
Niece of Sister Rosela – Sylveen Zothansiami said that her aunt and Sister Frida were safe thus far but on running short on food.
The family of Sister Rosela had last contacted them over the phone on Monday.
Sylveen said that Sisters Rosela and Frida along with 3 other nuns are taking care of the 37 homeless Ukrainians at the storehouse.
The nuns were also joined by an Indian student from the state of Kerala, who rushed to the MC’s home when Russia launched a full-scale military invasion to Ukraine.
“We are fine and still have food to eat as we hoarded them before. We can’t move outside and now hiding in a storehouse,” Sylveen quoted Sister Rosela as saying.
Although Sister Rosela and Sister Frida are receiving essential supplies, they could face an acute shortage of food if the war prolongs.
Niece of Sister Rosela said that the families of the two Mizo nuns are happy as they are able to establish contact with the nuns via phone calls and video calls frequently through the Kerala student.
Sister Frida’s brother Robert Lalhruaitluanga also said that his elder sister told them not to worry about them when they communicated to her on Monday.
“My sister told us not to worry about them. They are happy despite the hardships they face because of the ongoing war,” he said.
Earlier, Sisters Rosela and Frida refused to to move to a safer location and chose to stay in the war-ravaged Ukraine risking their lives to serve the homeless, those injured and those fleeing the war.
“We fear nothing because of God. We refuse to leave Ukraine because serving the needy and the homeless in all seasons is one of our primary commitments,” Robert quoted Sister Frida as saying.
Sister Rosela had joined the Missionaries of Charity in 1981 and made her first religious profession in 1984.
She became a full-fledged nun after her final profession in 1990 and was sent to the former Soviet Union (USSR) as a missionary in 1991.
She worked in Moscow for 10 years.
The sixth daughter of 8 siblings (all females) is known to be the second MC sister from Mizoram.
Having mastered the Russian language, Sister Rosela also worked in other foreign countries, including Latvia and Estonia, before she finally moved to Ukraine in 2013, Sylveen said.
She said that her aunt returned to their village only on two occasions (2009 and 2015) since moving to the USSR as the MC’s nuns could return to their homes in every 10 years for a month’s holiday.
She returned to Mizoram in 2015 on special permission to attend the ordination ceremony of her cousin Father Alwyn Zothansanga, who died in 2020 due to COVID-19, she said.
Sister Frida, who joined the MC in 1995, made her first religious profession in 1998 and final profession in 2004.
She has 4 brothers and a sister.
After working in India for a few years, she worked as a missionary in various foreign countries, including Lithuania, Siberia and Armenia, according to Robert.
The nun moved to Ukraine in 2019 and still serving there, Robert said.