New Delhi: The Indian Embassy in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv has shut down and the Ambassador and staff are moving to the western part of the country, media reports quoting sources have said. The embassy is likely to be relocated to western Ukraine’s Lviv for now, for which office space has been identified, sources told NDTV.
India has been advising students and others to move to the western borders, a process that has been extremely challenging amid the tough conditions and frequent bombing. Students who have reached India shared their ordeals in reaching the western border from Kyiv and Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv, which is being frequently bombed by Russian forces.
Earlier in the day, the embassy issued a fresh advisory asking all its nationals, including students stuck in the war-torn country, to leave Kyiv immediately. The Indian Embassy has also advised those stranded to avail of trains so that they can leave the capital city.
On Tuesday, a 21-year-old Indian medical student from Karnataka was killed during shelling in Kharkiv. Naveen Shekharappa Gyanagoudar, from Chalageri village in Karnataka’s Haveri district, was killed when he stepped out of his bunker to buy groceries.
India will operate 26 flights over the next three days to fly back Indian citizens who have moved from Ukraine to neighbouring countries, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla informed reporters on Tuesday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired another meeting on the country’s evacuation efforts, titled Operation Ganga. Besides Bucharest in Romania and Budapest in Hungary, airports in Poland and the Slovak Republic will also be used for the evacuation efforts, he said.
There were an estimated 20,000 Indian students in Ukraine when the government issued its first advisory. “From that number, approximately 12,000 have since left Ukraine, which is 60 per cent of the total,” the Foreign Secretary said. “Of the remaining 40 per cent, roughly half remain in the conflict zone in Kharkiv, Sumy area, and the other half has either reached the western borders of Ukraine or are heading towards the western part of Ukraine… they are generally out of conflict areas.”
Indiablooms News Service