India Seeks Moscow’s Help in Evacuating Students Across the Ukraine-Russia Border
With Operation Ganga in full force on Ukraine’s western frontiers, the Narendra Modi government is in close contact with Moscow to ensure the safe passage of Indian students stranded inside the warzones of Kharkiv and Sumy, as well as evacuation via Russia’s eastern border. The Indian embassy in Moscow has placed Russian-speaking personnel in Belgorod.
According to estimates, as many as 13000 Indians have been evacuated from Ukraine through the western borders, with another 3000 finding their way to safety in the Ukraine war zone, thanks to the complete assistance of the governments of Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. Approximately 4,000 Indian students are trapped in Kharkiv and Sumy, where Putin’s forces attempt to surround Ukraine’s key cities in a classic World War II manoeuvre.
On the west front, Operation Ganga has begun. “The problem is moving the stranded Indians to the western borders due to traffic jams and long queues on the Ukrainian side of the border. There is no problem in evacuation as all the countries are offering the fullest cooperation. A total of seven Russian-speaking teams are available on all borders as well as Ukraine,” on the Poland-Ukraine border, a senior Indian diplomat remarked.
However, the Modi government’s main worry is evacuation from the eastern borders, as both Kharkiv and Sumy are at the centre of Russia’s onslaught against Kyiv. With all roads suffocated by huge Russian armoured vehicles and rocket regiments from Belarus and the eastern boundary with Ukraine, only one safe evacuation alternative for Indian students would be if Moscow permits stranded Indians to pass through there is comprehensive urban warfare heading on within the cities. “The movement of Indians who are in bunkers can be only possible through a safe passage or else the student will be sitting targets of heavy artillery shelling and missile firing in the region,” stated an earlier foreign secretary.
The battle is anticipated to stretch on and become harsher by the day, with Putin intending to occupy Kyiv and depose the Zelensky government. The window of opportunity for Indians to flee is rapidly closing.