Operation Ganga: All Indians left Ukraine's capital Kyiv, 26 flights over next 3 days to evacuate citizens, says MEA

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All Indians have left Kyiv, the besieged capital of Ukraine, foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said in a briefing on Wednesday.

"We had an estimated 20,000 Indian students in Ukraine at the time that we issued our first advisory. From that number approximately 12,000 have since left Ukraine, which is 60 per cent of our citizens in Ukraine," Shringla said.

He added half of the 40 per cent Indians remain in Kharkiv and Sumy, while the rest have either reached the relatively safe western parts of Ukraine, or its borders.

"At least 1,400 Indian citizens in Zaporizhzhia have moved to the western border and 400 students have moved to Moldova," Shringla said.

Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city has been shelled by Russian forces. The foreign secretary also gave an update on the Indian student who was killed in the shelling of Kharkiv on Tuesday.

He said that India was in touch with the local authorities to retrieve 21-year-old Naveen Shekharappa's body.

"His body was taken to a morgue in a university. We spoke to his parents in Karnataka earlier today. We'll not only try and evacuate our nationals from conflict zone as soon as possible but also bring back Naveen's body," Shringla said.

Shringla also shared crucial details of Operation Ganga, the Indian government's mission to evacuate nationals from Ukraine.

Here are the highlights:

  • An Indian Air Force C-17 transport aircraft will leave for Romania at 4 am Wednesday to bring back Indian citizens from Ukraine. The aircraft will take off from its home base in Hindan near Delhi.
  • Over the next three days, 26 flights have been scheduled to bring back Indian citizens. Apart from Bucharest and Budapest, airports in Poland and the Slovak Republic will also be used.
  • Earlier, all Indians in Kyiv were advised to head to western parts and exit from there whenever they can. They could go towards Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Poland & Moldova. 7,700 nationals have exited through these routes, 2,000 have returned and 4,000-5,000 are waiting for aircraft.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to Slovak, Polish and Romanian counterparts to seek their assistance in the evacuation efforts.

India began operating flights from Ukraine's neighbours including Romania and Hungary after the war-hit nation shut its airspace on 24 February amid Russian attack.

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Operation Ganga: All Indians left Ukraine's capital Kyiv, 26 flights over next 3 days to evacuate citizens, says MEA
Operation Ganga: All Indians left Ukraine's capital Kyiv, 26 flights over next 3 days to evacuate citizens, says MEA
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