LEAVE KHARKIV IMMEDIATELY, says Indian Embassy in Ukraine. 'Use any means, even on foot'

A large crowd outside a railway station presumed to be in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photo: Twitter

Social media reacts angrily after the Embassy of India in Kyiv issued an advisory urging all Indians in Kharkiv to 'leave immediately'.

The embassy's first advisory that was in bold letters, in fact a screenshot, seemed to have been tweeted in a rush considering the urgency of the matter.

Earlier, agencies had confirmed Russian cruise missiles landing in the northeastern Ukrainian city.

"For their own safety and security, they must leave Kharkiv immediately, repeat immediately, in the light of the deteriorating situation," the Embassy's initial advisory read.

A second advisory issued at 6pm IST has further advised the students to 'proceed on foot' if they 'cannot find vehicles'.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson in a press conference said the fresh advisories were issued "on the basis of information received from Russia".

As per the advisory, the nearest location that has been suggested as 'safe' is Pisochyn, which is 11 km from Kharkiv.

The other alternative destinations provided by the Embassy are Babai (12 km) and Bezlyudivka (16 km).


No particular strategy: MEA
On being asked how the Indian Embassy finalised the 'safe' locations, the MEA spokespersons said: "There is no particular strategy, these are the nearest locations.

"We're working with the student co-ordinators," he added.

"We have been in touch with the Russians on safe passage for our people. We will use whatever options we need to bring out our people," said the spokesperson.

The MEA said that for now the priority remains on Kharkiv as it is "probably the largest in terms of concentration of Indians".

A Twitter user, Sonia Lumba, who reacted to the tweet has said her daughter and 1,000 other Indian students are unable to leave the city and are stranded in a railway station.

Russia had attacked Kharkiv's city council building on Wednesday, a development that was confirmed by the deputy governor of the region, Roman Semenukha.

Kharkiv had come under intense shelling over the past two days, with at least 21 people killed.

Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar, a fourth-year medical student at the Kharkiv National Medical University, was killed in intense shelling in Kharkiv on Tuesday.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.