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Indian evacuees bring their furry friends from Ukraine

Source: ANI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: March 04, 2022 00:35 IST
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Amid the growing tension between Ukraine and Russia, evacuated Indian nationals from the war-torn country have refused to leave their pets behind. 

IMAGE: An Indian student, evacuated from crisis-hit Ukraine, arrives with her pet cat at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad. Photograph: PTI Photo

An Indian national Gautam who was rescued from Ukraine's capital Kyiv arrived in India along with his cat.

He came by the third Indian Air Force's C-17 aircraft early on Thursday.

The pet cat was part of Gautam's journey from Ukraine to India.

 

The pet has been with him for four months. The cat stayed with him in the bunker and crossed Poland along with him.

Talking to ANI, Gaurav said, "This cat has been with me for the past four months. It stayed with me in the bunker, and then we crossed into Poland together."

Another evacuee Zahid brought his friend's dog along with him from Ukraine.

"I have brought my friend's dog with me from Ukraine. Many people who had dogs left them behind in Ukraine, but I brought this dog along with me," he told ANI. 

IMAGE: Gautam, who was rescued from Kyiv, Ukraine, brought back his pet cat with him. Photograph: ANI

Earlier on Tuesday, the Government of India issued a memorandum facilitating 'a one-time relaxation measure' for bringing back pet dogs and cats along with stranded Indians who are being evacuated from war-hit Ukraine.

The step by the Indian government came after an appeal from the 'People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)'.

A viral video was posted on social media by Rishabh Kaushik, a final-year undergraduate student of software engineering at the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics in Ukraine, in which he could be seen saying that he is not going to leave behind his dog 'Malibu' in Ukraine.

He added that he tried contacting the Indian authorities so that he could take his dog with him but they repeatedly asked for documents.

PETA wrote to Parshottam Rupala, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy to press for allowing the Indians to take their pets along with in the flights.

The evacuees came on board four C-17 Globemaster aircraft of the Indian Air Force that landed at the Hindon air base in Ghaziabad, adjoining Delhi in western Uttar Pradesh, according to sources.

"A total of 798 stranded Indians were evacuated through the four Air Force flights that reached the Hindon air base on Thursday. Besides them, there was a dog and a cat on one flight and two other cats in another flight," a source at the Hindon air base said.

IMAGE: Zahid, a student rescued from Ukraine, arrives at Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad with his friend's dog. Photograph: ANI

Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt was at the Hindon air base to receive the evacuees, most of whom after landing in Ghaziabad were headed to their respective state guest houses in Delhi for further departure to their homes.

As tensions escalated amid Russian shelling since February 24 and all flight operations to Ukraine were suspended, India launched the Operation Ganga to evacuate its nationals from the conflict zone.

The government has already sent four Union ministers to countries neighbouring Ukraine as India's "special envoys" to coordinate the evacuation efforts.

Hardeep Singh Puri is in Hungary, Jyotiraditya Scindia in Romania, Kiren Rijiju in Slovakia and V K Singh in Poland.

So far, over a dozen flights have returned to India with more than 3,300 evacuees, who left Ukraine through its western neighbours like Romania, Poland and Hungary.

In New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held a string of top-level meetings to ensure safe repatriation of Indian citizens from the war-ravaged region whilst being in touch with foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, to discuss the situation. 

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
 
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