India has stepped up efforts to evacuate its nationals from Ukraine
With Russian troops advancing on Kyiv and other key cities of Ukraine, Indian embassy officials on Saturday evacuated several stranded students from the war-torn country and safely brought them to Romanian capital Bucharest, from where they will travel back to India.
An Air India flight, carrying the stranded Indians, will land in Mumbai at 4 pm this evening. The air carrier will operate more flights on Saturday to Bucharest and Hungarian capital Budapest to evacuate more people.
Talking to NDTV, one of the students said Indian embassy officials safely evacuated them from the crisis-hit country and have been taking care of everything. "Our parents are relieved and we are very grateful to everyone involved in the evacuation process," she said.
Expressing her gratitude, another student said the embassy officials were in constant touch with the stranded students after Russia announced military operation in Ukraine. They also made all essential arrangements, she added.
Earlier today, India asked its nationals stranded in Ukraine to exercise caution at all times and not move towards any border post to exit the country without prior coordination with its officials.
The overall ground situation deteriorated further with gunfire, bombings and missile attacks continuing to rock various parts of the country, including its capital Kyiv.
Thousands of stranded Indian students have taken refuge in underground metro stations, bunkers and hostel basements, seeking their safe and immediate evacuation from the war-torn country.
The students have been sharing posts on social media platforms and seeking help from the Indian government as they face a shortage of food, water and cash.
The Ukrainian airspace has been closed for civil aircraft operations since the morning of February 24 and therefore, the evacuation flights are operating out of Bucharest and Budapest.
India has stepped up efforts to evacuate its nationals through Ukraine's land borders as the crisis escalated into war. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) has set up a dedicated 24*7 control room to provide assistance and information to Indians in Ukraine.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)