The Government of India will arrange evacuation flights for Indian nationals stranded in war-torn Ukraine, news agency ANI reported. Citing unnamed sources, ANI reported that the cost of the evacuation will be borne by the government.
The stranded Indians will be flown back from neighbouring countries by the government, NDTV reported.
On Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin in a televised address to the nation declared war on Eastern Ukraine. Putin stressed the attack was a “special military operation” in the rebel-held territories Luhansk and Donetsk.
Around 20,000 Indians are reported to be trapped in Ukraine. Many politicians including chief ministers of Kerala and Telangana have appealed to the Indian government for their safe evacuation.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also urged the government to expedite the evacuation of the stranded students. “The safety of 20,000 Indians stranded in Ukraine is paramount,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao also appealed to the Centre to evacuate Telangana students from Ukraine, saying that the government of Telangana is ready to bear the full travel expenses of the students.
Actor Sonu Sood has also urged the Indian government to ensure the safety of the students.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday in a letter to Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar sought urgent help. “Many of the students are staying back as they do not want a break in their studies. I am writing this letter to request the kind intervention of your good self with authorities in that country for ensuring the safety of our students…to make necessary arrangements for their return by arranging special flights,” Vijayan wrote.
Many students have been posting videos pleading the government to evacuate them from Ukraine as the war intensifies. Many videos are surfacing where students are shown taking refuge in metro stations.