FRIENDS of missing Russian student Yulia Solodyankina are holding an event on The Mound in an effort to raise further awareness of her disappearance.
“Busk to help find Yulia”, which starts at 3pm on Sunday, will feature a performance by Anansi, the dance and drumming group the missing 22-year-old physics student is involved in.
Stuart Barrett, 33, one of the organisers, said: “Yulia loves dancing. It’s a big part of her life and it’s how so many of her friends came to know her in the first place. We’re hoping that this will lead us to someone who has some information that can help.”
Yulia, who is in the fourth year at Edinburgh University, has been missing for two weeks – the last official sighting of her was on the night of Thursday, June 6 when she left The Wee Red Bar at Edinburgh College of Art at just after 9pm.
A woman believed to be Yulia was seen a short time later on CCTV footage, walking past the Tesco Extra on Nicholson Street.
She sent messages through Facebook and by text on Friday afternoon, but has not made contract with anyone since. Her phone and laptop were found in the South Clerk Street flat she shares with two friends.
Social media campaigns attempting to raise awareness of Yulia’s disappearance have gained thousands of supporters, with efforts being made to coordinate leaflet drops in other cities around the UK.
Friend Matthew Crisp, 24, said: “On Sunday we’ll have large billboards and leaflets with Yulia’s picture on them, which we’ll be handing out. We’ll also be taking donations towards having more leaflets printed.”
Yulia’s face and details of her disappearance are also set to feature on 12,500 compostable takeaway coffee cups, to be distributed to 150 independent outlets by Edinburgh company Cappuccino Ads.
Police Scotland sent out a renewed appeal for information about the missing student earlier this week and are understood to be working their way through hours of CCTV footage in the hope of discovering vital clues.
Yulia, who speaks fluent English with a strong Russian accent, is of medium build with long dark brown hair. She is about 5ft 6in and has a small mole on her left cheek. Her ears are pierced and she wears a number of rings including a distinctive thumb ring shaped like a small spoon.
Earlier this week. Yulia’s father Dmitry Solodyankina told how the night before she disappeared, he had arranged to meet his only child at Waverley Station on June 13, in what was to be his first visit to the Capital.
Instead, he flew from Moscow to aid the police investigation.
He said: “Yulia has a big family in Russia – grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, many friends. All the family and friends are now praying for her.
“Her mother cannot believe what’s happened.”