Russia-Ukraine war: No Indian left in Kharkiv, focus now on Sumy, says GoI

An injured woman being evacuated as Russia bombs a civilian apartment complex in Chuhuiv, near Kharkiv, Ukraine. [Photo: Twitter/ Alexander Lourie]

New Delhi: The Government of India (GoI) said on Saturday no Indian was left in strife-torn Kharkiv, the second-largest city of Ukraine, where Russia continued its assault for yet another day.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the main challenges in the evacuation of Indians were now in Sumy amid an ongoing shelling and violence and lack of transportation.

“From Pisochyn and Kharkiv, we should be able to clear out everyone in the next few hours, so far I know no one left in Kharkhiv. The main focus is on Sumy now, the challenge remains ongoing violence and lack of transportation; best option would be a ceasefire,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Addressing a press conference, Bagchi said 15 flights have landed in the last 24 hours with around 2,900 onboard. “Approximately 13,300 people returned to India so far. 13 flights scheduled for the next 24 hours,” Bagchi added.

“We will now be looking at how many are still in Ukraine. The embassy will contact those who happen to be there but haven’t registered… In nearby Pisochyn…we have moved (evacuated) 298 students, hoping to complete it by today,” he said.

“The problem is in Sumy. We strongly urge both sides for a ceasefire, hope it happens soon as there is shelling, can risk lives. Indian students are safe in the campus… We have our teams now moving towards the East…Problem is shelling.”

Hours ago, the MEA said India is deeply concerned about the situation of Indian students in Sumy amid non-stop fighting between Ukraine and Russian forces.

In a statement, the ministry urged the students to take safety precautions and stay inside shelters.

The MEA said the government was strongly pressing Russian and Ukrainian governments through multiple channels for an immediate ceasefire to create a safe corridor.


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