Russia on Friday accused 'Ukrainian nationalists' of 'forcibly' holding over 3,700 Indian citizens in various cities, while saying the Russian military is doing everything to ensure the peaceful evacuation of foreign nationals.
Russia's Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia told an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting following the attack on the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant in Ukraine, that radicals and extremists in Ukraine 'were and are' under the 'close guardianship and protection' of Western nations.
'We urge you to calm down your mentees who in the worst traditions of ISIL terrorists and their Idlib associates are hiding behind civilians, placing heavy weaponry and multiple rocket launchers in residential areas.'
He said 'these terrorists' are preventing civilians wishing to leave the cities from doing so and this practice is affecting not only Ukrainians, but also foreign citizens.
'The number of foreign nationals who are being forcibly held by Ukrainian nationalists is shocking. In Kharkiv, this includes 3,189 citizens of India, up to 2,700 citizens of Vietnam, 202 citizens of China. In Sumy, this includes 576 Indian citizens, 101 Ghanaian citizens and 121 Chinese citizens.'
The Russian military is doing everything to ensure the peaceful evacuation of foreign nationals, he said adding that at various checkpoints '130 comfortable buses' are standing ready in order to leave for Kharkiv and Sumy to rescue Indian students and other foreign citizens.
He said checkpoints have been equipped with temporary accommodations, rest facilities and hot meals and mobile medical stations have been deployed with stocks of medications.
"The evacuees will be later transported to Belgrade and subsequently brought home by air."