Russia on Indian students stuck in Ukraine: ‘Ready to evacuate…’
Ukraine war: Video appeals have been shared widely on social media by students from India, seeking safe evacuation from Ukraine.
Russia is doing "everything to evacuate foreigners" from Ukraine, an envoy told the United Nations Security Council late on Friday night amid the Ukraine war. While the Kremilin has been accused of "war crimes" amid global fury, Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN, on Friday said it is arranging civlian movement from the Belgorod region and "buses have been waiting for Indian students and other foreign nationals".
"In the Belgorod region of Russia, 130 buses have been waiting since 6.00 am today at the crossing points “Nekhoteevka” and “Sudja” ready to go to Kharkov and Sumy to evacuate the Indian students and other foreign nationals. The checkpoints are equipped to provide temporarily accommodation, space for rest, hot food. Also, there are mobile medical stations with a stock of medications. Everyone evacuated will then be taken to Belgorod, and from there transported to their homeland by air," Nebenzia told the UNSC amid heightened concerns about the safety of Indians stuck in the country.
Video appeals have been shared widely on social media by students from India, seeking safe evacuation from Ukraine. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held several high-level meetings on the crisis in the last one week and has also spoken to Russia's Vladimir Putin and Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the safety concerns.
More than 18,000 Indians have returned to the country since the Kremlin began its full-scale invasion last week, according to the government. The centre is arranging special flights from Ukraine's border countries as part of alternative routes chalked out after the airspace was closed in the war-hit nation.
The Kremlin has also accused Kyiv of holding foreigners hostage. In his speech, the envoy repeated the claim: "Terrorists do not let civilians leave cities. This impacts not only Ukrainians, but foreigners as well. The number of foreign citizens whom Ukrainian nationals are keeping by force is shocking. Kharkov – 3189 nationals of India, up to 2700 nationals of Viet Nam, 202 nationals of China. Sumy – 576 nationals of India, 101 nationals of Ghana, 121 national of China. Chernigov – 9 nationals of Indonesia.
Nationalists in Kharkov started fire against a group of Chinese citizens who attempted to exit to the territory of Russia by themselves. Two of them were injured."
However, the foreign ministry earlier this week denied and said that it has not come across any reports of hostage situations.
The world was caught by surprise last week when Putin declared the Ukraine offensive for “demilitarization and denazification" despite global pressure.
Protests erupted worldwide in response to the war and global sanctions followed as "punitive measures". Despite two rounds of ceasefire talks, the two sides are yet to reach a breakthrough.