No Indian left in Kharkiv, focus now on Sumy: MEA on Ukraine evacuation

Updated on Mar 05, 2022 07:05 PM IST

Ukraine evacuation: MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said 15 flights have landed in the last 24 hours with around 2,900 onboard and 13 flights scheduled for the next 24 hours.

Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi addresses a press conference, in New Delhi.
Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi addresses a press conference, in New Delhi.

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) said on Saturday no Indian was left in strife-torn Kharkiv, the second-largest city of Ukraine, where Russia continued its assault for yet another day. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the main challenges in evacuation of Indians were now in Sumy amid ongoing shelling and violence and lack of transportation.

“From Pisochyn and Kharkiv, we should be able to clear out everyone in the next few hours, so far I know no one left in Kharkhiv. Main focus is on Sumy now, challenge remains ongoing violence and lack of transportation. Best option would be ceasefire,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Addressing a press conference, Bagchi said 15 flights have landed in the last 24 hours with around 2,900 onboard. “Approximately 13,300 people returned to India so far. 13 flights scheduled for the next 24 hours,” Bagchi added. 

Live updates on Ukraine-Russia conflict

“We will now be looking at how many are still in #Ukraine. The embassy will contact those who happen to be there but haven't registered... In nearby Pisochyn...we have moved (evacuated) 298 students, hoping to complete it by today,” he said.

“The problem is in Sumy. We strongly urge both sides for a ceasefire, hope it happens soon as there is shelling, can risk lives. Indian students are safe in the campus... We have our teams now moving towards the east...Problem is shelling.”

Also read | Evacuation halts in Mariupol amid fresh shelling by Russian troops

Hours ago, the MEA said India is deeply concerned about the situation of Indian students in Sumy amid non-stop fighting between Ukraine and Russian forces. 

In a statement, the ministry urged the students to take safety precautions and stay inside shelters. The MEA said the government was strongly pressing Russian and Ukrainian governments through multiple channels for an immediate ceasefire to create a safe corridor.

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