Saturday, February 26, 2022

Russia-Ukraine conflict: How is India responding, as Indian students are stuck?

Russian forces fired missiles at several targets as loud explosions were reported in Ukraine, officials and media said on Thursday (February 24). 

Reports also mentioned that Russia has landed troops on its coast after President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called a special military operation in the east. 

Amid escalating tensions, high-level meetings are underway in India's Ministry of External Affairs to discuss the contingency plans that are being put into operation to activate alternate routes to bring back stranded citizens from Ukraine, sources claimed.  

Ukrainian authorities closed the airspace to civilian flights citing a high risk to safety and given airspace closure, alternate evacuation routes are being activated.  

Additional Russian speaking officials have been sent to our Embassy in Ukraine and are being deployed in countries neighbouring Ukraine. 

Sources further informed that the Indian Embassy in Ukraine is functional and its advisories should be followed carefully.

Meanwhile, a special Air India flight returning from mid-air as Ukraine airspace is closed due to notice to airmen (NOTAM) as war has been started between Russia and Ukraine. 

India-based news agency ANI reported citing sources that an empty flight of Air India AI-1947 is returning from over Iran air space as Ukraine imposed restrictions on civilian aircraft. 

"Air India flight AI1947 is coming back to Delhi due to NOTAM at, Kyiv, Ukraine," Air India informed. 

Previously, India's permanent representative to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti at the UNSC meeting on Ukraine said, "We call for an immediate de-escalation." 

He added that the situation is in danger of "spiralling into a major crisis" and if not handled carefully, it may undermine security, adding the security of all parties should be taken into account. 

"Over 20,000 Indian students are in Ukraine, we are facilitating the return of all Indian nationals including students as we may be required," Tirumurti said.

24/02/22 WION

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