• Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

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Voice of Unheard

Russia Ukraine War; 470 Indian Students evacuated from Ukraine till now

Feb 26, 2022

On Friday (February 25), the Indian government successfully evacuated 470 Indian students from war-torn Ukraine through the Romanian border. Despite multiple advisories by the government to Indians to leave Ukraine in the lead-up to the full-scale invasion by Russia, about 18000 students are still stranded in the Eastern European country.

As per reports, the first batch of 470 Indian students boarded a bus from the city of Chernivtsi to the Porubne-Siret border. Officials belonging to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) thereafter facilitated their travel from the Siret in Suceava County to the Romanian city of Bucharest for their onward journey to India.

In a tweet on Friday, the Indian embassy in Kyiv had informed, “Today afternoon more than 470 students will exit Ukraine and enter Romania through the Porubne-Siret border. We are moving Indians located at the border to neighbouring countries for onward evacuation. Efforts are underway to relocate Indians coming from the hinterland.”

It further informed that the evacuation process was organised in close coordination with Indian embassies in Romania, Poland and Hungary. On Friday, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had also shared a video of Indian students after they were evacuated from Ukraine to the neighbouring country.

Air India to operate flights to Hungary, Romania on February 26

Reportedly, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs is also making preparations to evacuate stranded students through the Poland-Ukraine border. Moreover, Air India will operate flights between Delhi and Mumbai to Bucharest in Romania and Budapest in Hungary on Saturday (February 26) to facilitate the evacuation process to India.

Earlier this week, Air India evacuated 242 Indians from Ukraine. On Thursday, one Air India flight to Kyiv was returned back, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry had written to airline companies to resume flights from India to countries that share a land border with Ukraine.

Indian Embassy in Kyiv issues new advisory to Indian nationals

On Saturday, the Indian embassy in Kyiv issued a new advisory to students and other Indian nationals, currently stranded in Ukraine. “All Indian Citizens in Ukraine are advised to not move to any of the border posts without prior coordination with Government of India officials at the border posts (helpline numbers established) and the Emergency numbers of Embassy of India, Kyiv,” it said.

“The situation at various border checkpoints is sensitive and the Embassy is working continuously with our Embassies in our neighbouring countries for coordinated evacuation of our citizens. Embassy is finding it increasingly difficult to help the crossing of those Indian nationals who reach border checkpoints without prior Intimation,” read the advisory.

The Indian embassy pointed out that staying in Western Ukraine is relatively safer compared to reaching border checkpoints, without prior knowledge of the situation. It concluded, “All those currently in the Eastern sector are requested to continue to remain in their current places of residence until further instructions, maintain calm, and stay indoors or in shelters as much as possible, with whatever food, water and amenities available and remain patient. Avoid unnecessary movement.”

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also apprised stranded Indian nationals in Ukraine about the teams assisting them in the war-torn country and in neighbouring border nations.

According to a report by the Republic World, the Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has informed, “The MEA is taking steps to bring back about 18,000 Indians including students from Ukraine. As the air space in Ukraine is closed, alternative arrangements are being made for the evacuation of Indian nationals. The central government will ensure the safety of all Indians.”

He further added, “I spoke to Malayali students in Ukraine on phone. Indian students in the southern areas of Ukraine have told us that they are getting food, water, and power. Students and parents should not panic. Our government has brought back Indians even from places like Iraq.”

‘India is evacuating students stuck in Ukraine but Pakistan is not doing anything’: Pakistani students

Pakistani students stuck in Ukraine have lamented their government’s indifference to their predicament amidst an escalating military offence carried out by the Russian forces. They have alleged that while India is actively evacuating its students in Ukraine via Hungary, the Pakistani government is doing little to rescue stranded Pakistanis.

“There is a lot of bombing and military operations going on here and that’s why we want the Pakistani government to provide us security and a passage to safer places…because we are seeing that the Indians are rescuing their stranded students through the Hungary border. They are getting the Hungary border opened to rescue students stuck in Ukraine but no such measure is taken by the Pakistani government,” said a Pakistani student while talking to the ARY News channel

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