It is learnt that Russia on Wednesday (IST) halted military operations temporarily in Ukraine’s Kharkiv city to let Indian citizens evacuate the city. This came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s conversation on Wednesday regarding the safe evacuation of Indian citizens from conflict areas. Russia is intensifying its advance on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.
Indian Embassy in Ukraine issued two advisories for citizens in Kharkiv on Wednesday. The second advisory strongly urged Indian citizens to leave Kharkiv “immediately” and reach nearby settlements before 6 PM (Ukrainian Time). The advisory asked students unable to find vehicles to proceed on foot.
Russian Ambassador to India, Denis Alipov on Wednesday, during a press briefing, had said that Russia has received India’s request for evacuation of Indian citizens from conflict zones in Ukraine via Russian territory. He stated, “We have received India’s requests for emergency evacuation of all those stranded there through the Russian territory. We are actively working on all ways and means to launch such an operation and provide a humanitarian corridor for evacuation of the people there.” He also stated that Russia will launch an investigation into the death of Indian student Naveen Shekharappa who was reportedly killed due to Russian shelling in Kharkiv.
India has also requested Ukraine to ensure safe passage for Indian citizens stranded in conflict zones.