India has carried out a round of evacuation of its nationals stranded in Ukraine. The first batch of Indian students left Chernivtsi in a bus for the Ukraine-Romania border. The Embassy of India in Kyiv announced that the evacuation was being organised with the joint effort of the Indian embassies in Romania, Hungary and Poland.
"Today afternoon more than 470 students will exit the Ukraine and enter Romania through the Porubne-Siret border. We are moving Indians located at the border to neighbouring countries for onward evacuation. Efforts are underway to relocate Indians coming from the hinterland," the Embassy of India in Ukraine said in a social media message.
Preparations are also being made on the Poland-Ukraine border to allow Indian students to enter Poland for onward journey to India.
While evacuation has been undertaken following a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, widespread military action across Ukraine is currently underway, especially in major urban centres such as Kyiv, Kharkiv and others that also hold large Indian community.
Jaishankar holds talks
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Friday evening and discussed the difficulties faced by the Indian students in the midst of the conflict. "Discussed predicament of Indian nationals, including students. Appreciate his support for their safe return," he said after the phone call.
There are approximately 18,000 Indians present in Ukraine and many have sought shelter in the underground bunkers to stay safe as Russia is carrying out bombing raids across the country.