Many Indian students are stranded in Ukraine after the Russian Army launched a brutal offensive last week.
With the war now entering the fifth day, the Indian government has been carrying out evacuations of its citizens from Romania and Hungary — neighboring countries of Ukraine.
Earlier, Air India’s fifth evacuation flight came from the Romanian capital Bucharest to Delhi on Monday morning with 249 Indians.
The Ministry of External Affairs issued an advisory on Thursday stating that ‘alternative arrangements are being made for the evacuation of Indian nationals.’
Ministers To Oversee Evacuation Of Indian Nationals At Ukraine Borders
The embassy is aiming to relocate nationals to the western part of the country in light of Ukrainian airspace being closed.
The Indian government has now decided that Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and Gen (retd) VK Singh will be travelling to the Ukraine borders to coordinate the evacuation
While Scindia will look at Romania and Moldova, Rijiju is likely to go to Slovakia, Puri will go to Hungary and Gen (retd) Singh will be at Poland.
Operation Ganga Is Underway
The decision comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday chaired a high-level meeting to review the ongoing evacuation process.
‘Govt must urgently share detailed evacuation plan with Indians stranded in Ukraine, their families’ tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
‘Discussed the #Ukraine developments with Zbigniew Rau, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland. Appreciate Poland’s facilitation of the evacuation of Indian students from Ukraine,’ said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.
Air India Express also joined #OperationGanga, as the evacuation program has been named, according to a report in the ANI.
SpiceJet will also operate a special evacuation flight to Budapest, Hungary to evacuate Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine, according to reports.
Delegations from the two countries met on Monday morning in an attempt to negotiate a ceasefire, as Russia’s stock exchange remains closed and the Ruble plummets.
European nations and Canada said on Sunday they would close their airspace to Russian aircraft and, in an unprecedented move, the European Union said it plans to finance the purchase and delivery of weapons to Ukraine.
In response to increasing economic sanctions, Russian President Putin has placed Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert.
Ukraine-Russia Talks Begin in Belarus
Talks between Ukraine and Russia have begun in Belarus, according to a Reuters report.
Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak has said talks with Russia in Belarus have begun. Achieving an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces is the key focus.
The Ukraine delegation, which arrived in the Gomel region by helicopter, also includes Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov.
UK PM Boris Johnson has said he is ‘sceptical’ of Russia’s intentions with the talks, even as President Zelensky has asked the EU to fast track Ukraine’s entry into the bloc.
Fighting and missile attacks continue in multiple cities with explosions heard in Kyiv on Monday and clashes between Russian and Ukranian forces in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.
Belarus passed a referendum on Sunday ending its non-nuclear status, Reuters reported, while the rouble plummeted, owing to increasing isolation of Russia from the global financial system.
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