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This article was first published 2 years ago  » News » Evacuation from eastern Ukraine an area of concern: MEA

Evacuation from eastern Ukraine an area of concern: MEA

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
March 02, 2022 22:41 IST
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As India steps up efforts to evacuate its citizens from war-hit Ukraine, the ministry of external affairs said on Wednesday that efforts are on to reach cities in the eastern part of that country, though it is not easy.

IMAGE: A woman uses a smartphone in front of a residential building destroyed by recent shelling, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in the city of Irpin in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, March 2, 2022. Photograph: Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters

The eastern part of Ukraine has been witnessing intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops.

The comments by MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi came hours after the Indian embassy in Ukraine asked all Indians in Kharkiv to leave the city immediately for three safe zones.

He said nearly 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine's borders since advisories were issued over a fortnight back.


Bagchi said 15 flights are scheduled over the next 24 hours and some of them are already operating.

"The cities in eastern remain areas of concern for us. Some students were able to board trains out of Kharkiv yesterday night and this morning and we assisted in the process through the student contractors and other partners," Bagchi said.

"We have been in communication with the Russians regarding the safe passage of our nationals from Kharkiv and other nearby cities," he said.

Bachi said India is also exploring the option of reaching the eastern part of Ukraine to help in the evacuation of Indian nationals stranded in the areas.

"It's not easy because the route is not open at all times," he said at a media briefing.

Separately, he said an Indian national, identified as Chandan Jindal, died in Ukraine due to natural causes. He was in the hospital for the last few days.

Bagchi also said that there has been a sharp increase in the number of Indians who have left Ukraine over the recent past.

"We now estimate that nearly 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine's borders since our advisories were issued. This of course includes some Indians who had not registered with the embassy earlier," Bagchi said.

Earlier, the MEA had said that 20,000 Indians were in Ukraine when India had issued the first advisory in mid-February when the tension between Russia and Ukraine started building up.

Bagchi said the Indian embassy in Kyiv was asked to set up a temporary office in Lviv to facilitate border crossings by Indian nationals, adding a large segment of the team in the mission is now at Lviv.

The MEA spokesperson also said that a mechanism has been put in place for issuing emergency certificates to those Indian citizens who somehow lost their passports.

About the evacuation mission, Bagchi said flights under 'Operation Ganga' have increased sharply and that six flights have landed in India in the last 24 hours taking the total to 15.

He said the total number of Indians who have returned on board these flights is 3,352.

He said the advisory issued by the Indian embassy in Ukraine asking citizens to leave Kharkiv is based on information from Russia.

"We would urge all our nationals to leave Kharkiv immediately to safe zones," he said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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