New Delhi, March 8
All Indian students stranded in war-torn Ukrainian city of Sumy have moved out along with other foreign students and will soon board flights for home under Operation Ganga, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday.
694 Indian pupils
380 from Nigeria
250 from other nations
Tamil Nadu student joins Ukraine army
A 21-year-old from Tamil Nadu, Sainikesh Ravichandran, has joined the Ukrainian army against the invading Russian troops. He is a student of Kharkiv National University.
US bans Russian oil imports
US President Joe Biden has announced a US ban on Russian oil and other energy imports, ramping up pressure on Moscow in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine.
India bats for truce
TS Tirumurti, Indian envoy to UN, has sought immediate attention to “worsening situation” in Ukraine. At the seventh UNSC discussion on the conflict, he referred to PM Modi’s message to Russia and Ukraine for ensuring a ceasefire and return to diplomacy.
The Indian students along with their classmates from Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa trapped in Sumy State University (SumDU) left in buses for Poltava after Ukraine and Russia opened a humanitarian corridor in Sumy for the evacuation of Indian and other international students from Africa. The Indian Embassy and other countries waiting for their citizens from Sumy have set up camps in Poltava.
Earlier in the day, buses arrived to evacuate mainly Indian and Nigerian students after an 11-hour ceasefire began at 10 am. An MEA spokesperson also posted a video on Twitter showing Indian students having refreshments in the backdrop of parked buses.
The Indian Embassy in Ukraine simultaneously issued an advisory urging all stranded Indian nationals to make use of the humanitarian corridor announced in various parts of Ukraine by using any available means of transport.
Considering the security situation, establishment of the next humanitarian corridor was uncertain, the advisory said. “Therefore, all stranded Indian nationals are urged to make use of this opportunity and evacuate using trains, vehicles or any other available means of transport giving due consideration to safety,” it said. Union Minister Hardeep Singh Singh Puri said 694 Indian students had left for Poltava. About 380 Nigerian students and about 250 from other African nations had also left Sumy.
PM Narendra Modi had spoken to Russian and Ukrainian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday to start the evacuation process. Meanwhile, Russian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers will meet on Thursday in Antalya under Turkish mediation.
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