Updated: March 17, 2022 11:38:31 am
Three Indians stranded in the south Ukrainian city of Kherson, which was captured by Russia, have been evacuated — with help from the Russian army, a first since the invasion began.
The Indian Embassy in Moscow helped facilitate the evacuation of these three Indians — a student and two businesspersons — via Simferopol (Crimea) and Moscow.
A diplomat at the Embassy in Moscow told The Indian Express Tuesday: “We facilitated their boarding of a convoy of buses to Simferopol and then helped them come to Moscow by train after which they boarded their flight on Tuesday. One was a student who is heading to Chennai. Two were businesspersons who are headed to Ahmedabad.”
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This is the first time the Russian military has helped evacuate Indians from Ukrainian territory. More than 22,000 Indians — over 17,000 of them were evacuated by special flights arranged by the Indian government — managed to leave Ukraine since January last week this year.
Of these people, a substantial segment was able to leave because both Ukraine and Russia held to their commitment of a ceasefire.
But they all left from the western borders — via Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Slovak Republic.
This is the first instance of Indians leaving via the eastern border and Russia.
A top official from Russia’s Defence Ministry has said that its troops have taken control of the entire region of Kherson, after the territory’s capital city of the same name was captured on March 3.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday interacted with stakeholders involved in Operation Ganga.
Representatives of the Indian community and private sector in Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary narrated their experiences of being part of the evacuation operation and expressed their sense of satisfaction at having contributed.
“The Prime Minister expressed appreciation for Indian community leaders, volunteer groups, companies, private individuals and government officials who worked for the success of the operation,” a statement said.
Speaking about evacuation efforts, the Prime Minister recalled his personal interactions with leaders of Ukraine and its neighbouring countries and expressed gratitude for the support received from all the foreign governments.
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