Explained: Why India has asked its non-essential embassy staff, students to leave Ukraine temporarily

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The Ukraine-Russia crisis keeps escalating and in the latest developments, India asked its embassy staff in Ukraine to return home and advised its citizens whose stay is not essential to leave that country temporarily in view of “high levels” of tensions and uncertainties.

Here’s a look at what India has said, the situation in Ukraine and all you need to know about this predicament.

India’s advisory to its diplomats, citizens

On Sunday, India asked the family members of its embassy staff in Ukraine to return home and advised its citizens whose stay is not essential to leave the country temporarily in view of "high levels" of tensions and uncertainties.

Official sources were reported by PTI as saying that said families of Indian Embassy officials in Ukraine have been asked to return to India.

In its advisory, the Indian embassy in Kyiv asked all the Indian students to leave that country temporarily.

"In view of the continued high levels of tensions and uncertainties with respect to the situation in Ukraine, all Indian nationals whose stay is not deemed essential and all Indian students are advised to leave Ukraine temporarily," the embassy had said.

It said available commercial flights and charter flights may be availed for travel, for "orderly and timely departure" from Ukraine.

"Indian students are advised to also get in touch with respective student contractors for updates on charter flights, and also continue to follow Embassy Facebook, website and Twitter for any update," the embassy said.

Officials have been quoted by news agency PTI as saying that there’s a small but vibrant Indian community and there were about 18,000 Indian students studying in that country.

What's happening in the Ukraine-Russia conflict

The Indian advisory is just one of the many developments in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Hours after the advisory was issued, the French presidency announced that US president Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have accepted in principle to hold a summit.

However, there’s a rider on this meet: The summit proposed by France will only take place if Russia does not invade its neighbour, the White House has said.

Also read: Violence in Ukraine's Donbass raises fears of Russian invasion; all you need to know about region of conflict

The matter of talks between Biden and Putin came as the White House said Russia appeared to be “continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon”, and that the US was ready to impose "swift and severe consequences" should it happen.

The Biden administration estimates Russia has mustered up to 190,000 troops around Ukraine, including separatist forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

The possibility of a summit also comes at a time when Russia and Belarus completed their military drills near the border with Ukraine.

The world is on edge as the crisis sees no signs of abating.

British prime minister Boris Johnson in a BBC interview earlier was quoted as saying that Russia was planning "the biggest war in Europe since 1945".

"All the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun," Johnson was quoted as saying, adding, “Intelligence suggests Russia intends to launch an invasion that will encircle Ukrainian capital Kyiv."
"People need to understand the sheer cost in human life that could entail," he said.

With inputs from agencies

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Explained: Why India has asked its non-essential embassy staff, students to leave Ukraine temporarily
Explained: Why India has asked its non-essential embassy staff, students to leave Ukraine temporarily
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