Attack on Ukraine: Students flee Kharkiv as Russia steps up shelling

Published on Mar 01, 2022 04:13 PM IST

After death of Indian student in missile attack in heart of Ukraine’s second largest city, medicos gear up to take 1,400-km journey to safety

Students from Punjab are among people holed up in underground metro stations and basements that have been converted into makeshift bunkers in Ukraine since February 24 when Russia launched the attack. (HT Photo)
Students from Punjab are among people holed up in underground metro stations and basements that have been converted into makeshift bunkers in Ukraine since February 24 when Russia launched the attack. (HT Photo)

After the death of an Indian student in a missile attack in Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, on Tuesday morning, MBBS students from Punjab holed up in underground metro stations for the past five days have decided to head out on the long journey to the country’s western border where evacuation efforts are underway.

Also read: India calls in Russian, Ukranian envoys after student killed in Kharkiv shelling

MBBS student Khushwinder Kaur, 23, said hundreds of youngsters like her were planning to leave the city as soon as possible. The Faridkot native, who is a fifth-year MBBS student at Kharkiv National Medical University, said that the attacks have increased since Tuesday morning. “We got to know that some students got out of the bunker in the morning and one of them was hit by a missile. My friend, who is in another bunker, said a couple of students witnessed the incident,” she said, adding the situation has become very tense. “We are 12 students from Punjab living in this bunker. We have decided to move out of the city on whatever transportation we find by evening. Even the local authorities have suggested that we leave. There are no clear directions from the Indian embassy on where we should go. We are at least 1,400km from the borders of the European countries from where the students are being evacuated,” she said.

Jasmeen Kaur, a fourth-year MBBS student from Muktsar, said: “We don’t want to stay here anymore. The Russians have started targeting civilian buildings. We are short of food and water and still don’t know how we will make it,” she said.

Khushwinder’s father Sarabjeet Singh Brar said, “After the news of the death of a student, I’m worried for my daughter. She talks to us regularly but she is scared. She is in a bunker with 100 others, including Indian students. She told me that they are moving out of the city and going to the European border.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Parteek Singh Mahal is a multimedia correspondent based at Faridkot in Punjab. He covers medical education, politics and Punjab police.

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