Around 600 stranded Indian students earlier evacuated from the besieged Ukrainian city of Sumy via Poland reached India today on a special flight under Operation Ganga.
Taking to the micro-blogging site, the External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar said, “Students from Sumy are returning today to India. Operation Ganga, undertaken at the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has delivered due to both leadership and commitment.”
EAM Dr. S Jaishankar also thanked authorities in Ukraine and Russia as well as the Red Cross for their assistance- to bring Indian citizens out of Ukraine safely following the crisis.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, more than 21,000 Indian nationals have moved out of Ukraine since the first advisory has been issued by the Embassy in wake of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
The evacuation of Indian nationals from Sumy was particularly challenging. Addressing media earlier, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We are exploring multiple options for evacuating our citizens, students out of there, but let me reiterate the main challenge remains the ongoing shelling there, the ongoing violence there and the lack of transportation primarily, but even more than transportation I think it’s a problem of having a secure and safe way to get them out while they’re not under threat.”
Earlier on March 9, around 600 students from Sumy University onboard a special train organized with the assistance of Ukrainian authorities made their way to Poland.
Jaishankar thanks Ukraine’s neighboring borders
However, with tensions simmering on the ground, India had been working on a war-footing level to safely evacuate all the Indian nationals from war-torn Ukraine. With Ukrainian airspace close over the deteriorating security situation in the region, India earlier announced the evacuation of its citizens from conflict-struck Ukraine via its neighboring borders- Poland, Hungary, Romania, and the Slovak Republic.
The countries have extended full hand support in India’s evacuation mission. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier thanked Presidents of Poland and Romania for lifting the visa requirement- for Indian citizens crossing over to the countries from Ukraine.
Earlier today, taking to the micro-blogging site, India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar thanked Ukraine’s neighboring countries for their exceptional support provided to India during the evacuation mission.
“Ukraine’s neighbors- Romania, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Moldova gave us exceptional support. My sincerest thanks to them,” EAM Dr. S Jaishankar said.
“We are grateful to NGOs, individual volunteers, corporates our airlines, and the Indian Air Force who work so tirelessly in this exercise,” the EAM added.