PETALING JAYA: Malaysian medical students in Russia will play it by ear while hoping the war between the country and Ukraine does not escalate further.

Kursk State Medical University student Siti Fairuz, 20, said that the situation now was still fine.

However, as Kursk is a city in western Russia that borders Ukraine, Siti said the sight of army trucks on the road and fighter jets flying overhead was now more common.

“You can hear the jets flying and the trucks moving because we are close to the border.

“At the moment, we are having problems with our ATM cards which are slowly being blocked. So we have to quickly withdraw money.

“As far as the locals are concerned, a lot of them are behaving like normal, like there is nothing happening right now,” she said when contacted by The Star.

Siti is not fluent in Russian so she does not know what is happening.

She also said that most of the information was obtained via the local Malaysian university student association.

“I just hope that if things escalate when or if Ukraine decides to attack Russia, we would be brought to safety quickly,” she said.

In Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, a city in southwest Russia on the western bank of the Volga River, Ahmad Ashraff Haiqal Ahmad Zakki, 20, said life was far different than nearer the border.

The Volgograd State Medical University has been in Russia for three years now.

“There is a stark difference from what is happening near the Ukraine border because we are far away.

“I can speak Russian, so I can hear the chatter between people about what is going on.

“Some are for and some are against the war, but I have seen that most people are against it.

“I am just coping by doing my daily tasks – going to classes and heading straight home,” he said.