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Horror continues for Indian students in Ukraine; Embassy urges patience

We are in a metro bunker, and can not go out as soldiers are around, an Indian student in Kharkiv told Moneycontrol. Indian embassy asked Indians that Ukraine has been remarkably supportive in facilitating evacuation efforts, and requested them to respect the sentiments.

February 28, 2022 / 06:25 PM IST
People with luggage took shelter in the subway, unsure of where to go. (Image: AP)

People with luggage took shelter in the subway, unsure of where to go. (Image: AP)

The horror story of Indian students in Ukraine continues as thousands of them struggle to return home and get access to food, even as the evacuation is on albeit slowly due to the strategically difficult environment in that country.

Aousaf Hussain and scores of other fellow Indians are sheltering inside an underground metro station in Kharkiv for the last four to five days, and are afraid that their lives are in danger. He said it’s tough to go outside to buy food and water.

“We are in a metro bunker,” Hussain told Moneycontrol from Kharkiv. “We can not go out as soldiers are around,” he added.

The Indian embassy in Ukraine on Monday asked Indians including students, to move to the western part of the country less impacted in the ongoing war. The embassy also asked them to remain calm, not become aggressive at railway stations, and respect the sentiment of Ukrainians who have been “remarkably supportive”.

“We sincerely request all Indian nationals/students to remain calm, peaceful, and united. A large crowd can be expected at the railway stations, therefore, it is advised that all Indian students remain patient, composed, and especially not to exhibit aggressive behaviors while at the railway stations,” the Indian embassy in Kyiv said on February 28 in a second advisory.

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The second advisory comes, as videos of Indian students facing difficulties and seeking the Indian government’s help went viral on Monday. Indian students pursuing education in cities like Kyiv, Kharkiv, and at border regions were believed to be facing difficulty in negotiating with security forces to cross the border.

Garima Mishra, an Indian student in Kyiv was seen appealing to the Indian government to rescue them fast and the embassy in Kyiv is not helping them and taking their calls. There are over 18,000 Indian students in Ukraine, a majority of them are pursuing MBBS.

“Indian students are requested to carry their passport, sufficient cash, ready to eat meals, easily accessible winter clothing, and only essential items, to ensure easy mobility. Be mindful of your belongings at all times. Ukrainians both civilians and authorities have been remarkably supportive in facilitating evacuation efforts of Indian citizens, especially considering these critical and dangerous times. You are all requested to respect this sentiment,” the embassy said in the second advisory on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Indian embassy had said that appealed to Indian nationals/students in Ukraine, that weekend curfew has lifted in Kyiv. “All students are advised to make their way to the railway station for onward journey to the western parts. Ukraine Railways is putting special trains for evacuations.”



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Prashant K Nanda is an Associate Editor at Moneycontrol .
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