Kolkata: An elderly couple in Sonarpur on the outskirts of Kolkata are spending anxious days worrying about their son’s safety in Ukraine during the Russia-Ukraine war, a result of Russia invading the country on Thursday.
British Ministry of Defence officials on Saturday said Russian troops are now 30 km from the centre of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. “Russian forces have continued their advance on Kyiv with the bulk of their forces now 30 km from the city’s centre,” read the statement issued by the Ministry of Defence. The ministry also said Russia is yet to gain control over the airspace above Ukraine, which has reduced the “effectiveness” of the Russian Air Force.
In an interaction with IBNS, Sujit and Pratibha Swarnakar shared their constant tension as they kept their eyes glued to the television screen for updates, hoping to see their son Pushpak return safely to India. Pushpak is a final-year medical student in Ukraine.
Sujit first came to know about the crisis from television news channels, following which he kept in touch with his son constantly. “We are in constant touch with our son. We are very anxious about Pushpak,” Sujit said. “Actually, we are anxious about all those who are stuck in Ukraine.”
Sharing a recent update from Pushpak, Sujit told us that around 50 students including his son are likely to be taken to Romania, from where the Indian government will bring them back as all airports in Ukraine are presently non-functional.
In a fresh advisory, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine on Saturday urged Indian nationals, especially students, not to move to the border posts for evacuation without prior coordination with MEA officials. It said the Embassy is “finding it increasingly difficult to help the crossing of those Indian nationals who reach border checkpoints without prior Intimation”.
Meanwhile, authorities in Kyiv imposed curfew in the city from between 5.00 pm and 8.00 am local time. The new system replaces the old curfew timings from 10.00 pm to 7.00 am. Announcing the timings of the curfew, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko tweeted: “Warning! From today, February 26, 2022, the curfew will run from 5:00 pm to 8:00 am for more effective defense of the capital and security of its inhabitants. This curfew is introduced until the morning of February 28.”
Agencies, with inputs from Avishek Mitra/IBNS