New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Indian students stranded in Ukraine are making appeals to be evacuated, if not to the homeland, then to any country which is safe.
The appeal comes in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s launch of military operation against Ukraine on Thursday morning and subsequent explosions across the country.
Several Indian students are studying at Vinnytsia National Pirogov Medical University, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Dnipro State Medical University, Chernivtsi National University in Ukraine.
Most of the students were scheduled to return to India this week but due to the unavailability of flights, they could not be evacuated.
Aryan, a student of Vinnytsia National Pirogov Medical University, told IANS: “Tension has escalated in many areas in Ukraine. Explosions can be heard at a distance. Many students have left their homes and hostels and are staying in a group.”
Aryan said many of his friends reached the airport to fly back to India but due to unavailability of flights, they have to wait for hours, while many of them are stranded at railway stations.
Meanwhile, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has shared a message of Indian Embassy for those stranded in Ukraine.
The embassy said: “Students should stay put wherever they are, should not panic. Students should not travel to Ukraine’s capital Kiev.”
Many students of V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University are constantly in touch with the Indian embassy.
Kiran, an MBBS student said: “Many students were going to Kiev by train to board a flight. In the meantime, they got the information that flights have been cancelled due to which they got worried. First flights, and then train movement was also stopped. Train was stopped 15 km away from Kiev.”
After standing for hours in train, when the students reached the railway station, there was no taxi or other vehicle available.
Ankit, an MBBS student said, right now, he is staying with six Indian students which includes two girls.
As per the students, initially, only few areas of Ukraine were tensed. Ternopil, where Indian students stay, was peaceful till Wednesday night but now explosions could be heard here as well, the students said.
Another Indian student Sandy said situation is grim in Ternopil now. People staying here are leaving in groups in search of a safe place, but most of them are confined to their homes.
Around 4,000-5,000 Indian students study at Kharkiv National University.
Ankit said that he has spoken to Embassy officials who have assured him that efforts are being made to evacuate the stranded Indian nationals.
Ankit said: “Situation here has turned tense. People have made a beeline at medical and grocery stores. Shops are mostly shut. So, it is necessary to evacuate students on time. Students here are worried about their safety.”