One of the many Indian students stranded in Ukraine's Kyiv sent a video to NDTV today, saying they were being "thrown out of trains" when they went to a station for evacuation under the instructions of the Indian embassy. Currently, 350 students from two medical colleges in Kyiv are at the railway station, waiting to catch a train to Uzhhrohod or Lviv in western Ukraine. But they say they are not being allowed to board. Those who managed to do so, were "attacked with sticks" and physically thrown off.
The students from Taras Shevchenko National University and Bogomoletes National M University say they were asked by the embassy to move to Uzhhrohod or Lviv.
In the video, Radhika Lakshmi, a third year student, is heard saying: "The embassy told us we are being evacuated today and we came all the way to the Kiev railway station. We are being thrown out of the train. We are not even being allowed in... the students are being attacked with sticks and stuff... there are hundreds of students here. We are all stranded. Please do something really quick".
The foreign office has asked the Indian students in the war-torn nation to make their way towards western Ukraine, "but not to the border posts... in consultation with ministry teams and seek shelter in towns".
"People should not reach the border directly. If they do, they will face long waiting time to cross over. Do reach western parts of Ukraine. Please seek shelter in nearby towns. Our teams will help you. There are enough flights. Move to the border only after consultation with our teams," foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters at a press conference this evening.
Two advisories were issued today asking the students to "make their way" to the Kyiv Railway Station to travel west, he added.
Around 8,000 Indians have left Ukraine since the foreign ministry sent its first advisory before Russia launched the attack on the east European nation, Mr Bagchi said.
So far 1,396 students have reached India in six evacuation flights under "Operation Ganga", he added.
But thousands remain behind amid the panic and food shortage, sheltering from Russian bombs and missiles in safe houses, underground metro stations and basements, desperately sending out appeals for help.