How to protect yourself in a war-zone like Ukraine | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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How to protect yourself in a war-zone like Ukraine

ByAryan Prakash
Mar 01, 2022 04:55 PM IST

Exclusive: Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (Retired), the former 15 corps commander who witnessed urban battles in the Kashmir valley, spoke to Hindustan Times where he shared valuable tips to stay safe when stuck in a war zone

The fighting between Ukraine and Russia has entered the sixth day. Russian forces continue to target prominent cities including Kharkiv, leading to the death of an Indian student due to shelling.

A view of Kharkiv city after being stuck by Russian cluster bombs
A view of Kharkiv city after being stuck by Russian cluster bombs

What should one do when stuck in a warzone like Ukraine, vulnerable to the relentless gunfire and missile strikes pounding the battlefield.

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Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retired), the former 15 corps commander who witnessed urban battles in the Kashmir valley, spoke to Hindustan Times where he shared valuable tips to stay safe when stuck in a war zone.

"Don't be anywhere near military facilities or even government buildings. They are the first targets of missiles, shells and rockets," the veteran said.

Read- Kharkiv: 10 die, 35 hurt in rocket strikes, Zelenskyy says protecting Kyiv key

The former corps commander says it is advisable to study and analyse the patterns of shelling when stuck in such a situation. "Move or expose yourself based on the analysis."

The Indian embassy in Kyiv has advised Indian nationals to take shelter in the nearest bomb shelters to protect themselves from shelling and missile attacks, a move endorsed by the general himself.

"Stay underground as far as possible, subways, basements, below surface car parks etc. Keep a reserve of food and water and replenish whenever there is a break. Keep mobile charged at all times wherever possible," he said.

The Ministry of External Affairs and the embassies have been issuing advisories and sharing contact details on social media. For an uninterrupted access to such vital information that can save your life, keeping your mobile phone functional at all times is absolutely necessary.

In times of war, access to public information is absolutely difficult. Lt General Hasnain, who is also the member of the National Disaster Management Authority, advises, "It's absolutely important to remain in close proximity to a place which has a functional TV. Either a television or FM radio on your mobile phone is really useful."

The war veteran also has valuable advice on emergency first aid techniques that could be handy in a conflict zone. Emphasising on a sharp survival instinct, he said, "One must keep company and not be isolated. Being alone is traumatic. Torch, dry rations, water, a knife (not for safety but to use as a multipurpose tool), candles, matches, one spare cloth, cap and basic toiletries are essential in a situation likely to last long. I would add a few pieces of cutlery and a steel bowl too."

Meanwhile, the Indian government has reiterated its demand to both the warring nations for the safe evacuation of Indian nationals caught in conflict zones. Foreign secretary Harsh V Shringla had raised the demand during separate meetings with the envoys of Russia and Ukraine on Sunday.

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    Multimedia journalist with over nine years of experience in print, television and digital media. Books, politics and cinema are an inseparable part of life.

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