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PSU International Students Awarded by Perm Territory Governor

Dmitry Makhonin, Governor of Perm Territory has expressed official gratitude to students of Perm State University (PSU) for their courage and care, shown on 20 September, 2021, at the Permian Character award ceremony, as a recognition by the state and local citizens.   

This year, a total amount of 15 young people and 5 youth public associations were given the Permian character badge, including PSU students, who helped save peoples’ lives on 20 September, 2021. Their names and stories have been included into the Honor Book of Perm.

Students Abdulla Obaid (Iraq), Ashraf Razuk (Iraq), Ovezberdi Sabyrov (Turkmenistan) from the Faculty Chemistry; Anton Grekhov (Russia) from the Faculty of Economics; Yegor Dolgich (Russia) from PSU College for Professional Education have been awarded in the nomination “Overcoming Emergency and/or Mortal Social Danger”.

The Permian Character state and social initiative, started in 2015, aims at supporting children and youth’s social activity, demonstrating responsible civil behavior, helping those in need, encouraging positive change, helping overcome difficult life situations.

PSU Teacher Resists Tragedy, Shares Her Story

Olga Grafova, Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and Translation, Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature, Perm State University, was one of many teaching fellows, who run classes on 20 September, 2021. Olga learned about the shooting from a student who showed up late – the girl heard shots, on her way. Students started getting calls from friends around the campus.

Immediately after that, Olga and her students blocked the door and started considering the situation.

“We did feel uneasy all the time, – confesses Olga. – After we got ourselves barricaded, we searched for extra means of protection. In our case, we had a heavy metal laptop, one of the students had a pepper ‘mace’ spray. We put it by the door, so it calmed us down a bit. We spread around and sat our backs to the walls, yet we felt united, talked, and shared the news. “

For two hours, before the evacuation, Olga cheered each student with a word and hugs, maintaining a comfortable positive atmosphere in the classroom.

“Due to the fact that we stayed all together and kept talking, we felt some kind of complicity, being as one, which was helpful,” recollects Olga Grafova. – The Dean’s Office was also in constant touch: we received supporting calls from them, and reliable information.”

Olga Grafova and her students still keep in touch: “In circumstances like this, you tend to appreciate good people around and their support you,” Olga admits.

“Joining our Faculty, freshmen find themselves in a ‘family-close’ atmosphere, as we share most in common and know each other well, and so ready to help. For a student, this also means responsibility, as he or she won’t be lost in a study process. For us, in turn, it is important to deal with everyone in person, not just like an ‘audience’,” – points out Natalya Khorosheva, Head of the Department of Linguistics and Translation.

“In that extraordinary case, we as teachers never felt the necessity to continue the lesson, taking into consideration the psychological stress we were all in. Everyone, who happened to be with their students at that moment, with no immediate evacuation, did behave in a decent way – initiating support and dialogue on various matters, while keeping a constant contact with the Dean’s Office and Colleagues.

PSU International Student Helped Evacuation

Ovezberdi Sabyrov (Turkmenistan), a 3rd-year student of the Faculty of Chemistry, Perm State University, kept his temper and did his best to evacuate a group of students off campus.

At the moment of the tragedy of 20 September, Ovezberdi was on the ground floor, was waiting for the classes to start. Suddenly, he heard the sound of gunfire, and saw students running by, shouting.  When the international student saw the shooter saw the guard wounded, it became clear there was no joke involved, and the situation was serious.

Ovezberdi understood it was extremely unsafe to stay in the same place, so he looked for a safe way out. The student gathered his Turkmen and Russian friends, caught other ones on the way, and led them towards Students’ Club (Building 7). There, the University staff pointed them for an emergency exit.

Having reached the Students’ Club, Ovezberdi realized he would not be able to run out first and call for immediate help, as there were too many people at the exit. He instantly decided to jump out the window of the ground floor. Once on the street, the student rushed off campus, and warned passers-by about the danger, and made a call to police.

“I tried to explain the students around that it was important to avoid panic, and quickly step out,”

said Ovezberdi Sabyrov.

Back at home in Turkmenistan, Ovezberdi served in the military for two years. Those days he learned to properly act in emergency situations, when first you evacuate people, and then report to the police. Fellow officers speak of Ovezberdi Sabyrov as a calm, honest and diligent person.

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