Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh is in Poland currently to facilitate the evacuation of Indians stranded in war-hit Ukraine.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK SinghFacebook file image
news Russia-Ukraine War Friday, March 04, 2022 - 10:56
Written by  PTI

An Indian student has reportedly been shot at and injured in Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh said on Friday, March 4. Singh is in Poland currently to facilitate the evacuation of Indians stranded in war-hit Ukraine. "Today, we heard reports that a student leaving Kyiv was shot at. He was taken back to Kyiv. This will happen in a fighting," the minister told media persons. Recently on March 1, a young Indian medical student, Naveen SG of Karnataka, was killed in shelling in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv when he ventured out to buy food for himself and fellow students.

Singh said the Union govermment is making efforts to ensure that the maximum number of students can come out of Ukraine with as less loss as possible. India has been transporting its citizens through special flights from Ukraine's western neighbours such as Romania, Hungary and Poland as the Ukrainian airspace has been shut since February 24 due to the Russian military offensive.

A day after the Indian government asked citizens to "immediately" leave the war-hit Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, several students are still stranded there, desperately waiting to get to a safe zone as the Russian onslaught on the eastern Ukrainian city continued. As fighting intensified in Kharkiv, India had Wednesday asked its nationals to leave the second-largest Ukrainian city urgently to three nearby places "even on foot," while Russia promised to create "humanitarian corridors" for evacuation of Indians from the conflict zones. However, the students say they are still struggling to get out to safety.

Also read: Few hundred Indians estimated to be in Kharkiv, embassy asks them to fill online form

"Just because the night passed and we survived does not mean the struggle is over for us. We are far from being in a safe zone. We did start walking but the railway stations were flooded with people and still haven't been able to board a train," said Firdaus Tarannum, an Indian medical student in Kharkiv.

"We are in a shelter at Pisochyn near Kharkiv. We have no blankets and are left with almost no food. We started walking immediately after the advisory by government. I hope they arrange buses for us soon and we can be out of here," said Rehyam Khan, a first-year medical student.

The Indian embassy in Ukraine on Thursday advised all Indian nationals in Kharkiv to fill up an online form on an urgent basis.

"By grace of God, we are still safe...very very tough day we had yesterday. Only God saved all of us. We are in Pisochyn where no food is available. Students who took train are desperately waiting to reach a safe zone while many are still stranded," said Pragun, another student.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, nearly 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine's borders since advisories were issued over a fortnight back. An estimated 20,000 Indian nationals, mainly medical students, reside in Ukraine.

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