The 19-year-old who arrived back in Dublin Airport on Thursday said she had been unsure of how to get out before being introduced to two Scottish volunteers who had travelled to the country to try to rescue others.
Once the invasion began last month, all commercial flights were instantly cancelled throwing her and others into “panic mode”, she said during a Late Late Show interview on Friday.
Although hope came in the form of the two Scottish rescuers, they too quickly ran into problems.
“Initially they were supposed to come on Sunday but they were accosted by the Russians,” Ms Diyaolu said. “Their lives were put in danger; their van was shot at, they were held at gunpoint.”
After a brief delay, they managed to meet up and set their exit plan in motion, eventually heading for the Romanian border.
“It kind of was a bit scary when we were going through checkpoints because you know it’s armed people who are asking for your documents,” she said. “I tried to stay calm and just know that they’re in control, if you just comply you should be able to get through easily.”
Ms Diyaolu, who had been in the country for a short time studying medicine in the northeastern city of Sumy, eventually reached the border on Wednesday. From there she made her way home to jubilant scenes at the airport.
On the same show, former Irish president Mary McAleese said she had written to the Russian ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov three times “in terms that I couldn’t possibly publish”.
“I am grateful actually that, in an ironic kind of way, in a sardonic kind of way, that he brought a message to the Russian people through their own fake press and their own fake news,” she said, referencing a recent television interview in which the ambassador discussed the Irish response to the war in Ukraine.
“But he actually brought a truth about us as a people that yes we have taken a side here and we’re going to continue taking that side until the Russian people realise that hopefully, hopefully they will have it in their power some of these days to neutralise this militant demagogic, this appalling, moronic, appalling anti-human man who drives their country into pariah status right around the world.”
Ms McAleese also said she had signed up with the Irish Red Cross to take in a family of Ukrainian refugees.