Special team, buses waiting to evacuate Indians, but fighting has to stop: Russian envoy

Indian students
Indian students in Kharkiv pose with the national flag. Screengrab: Twitter

The Russian Embassy in India has said that it has dedicated a special team to evacuate Indian students stranded in Ukraine.

Russian Ambassador to India, Denis Alipov said in a video message that it has “created special groups ready to take the Indians to the territory of the Russian Federation and then transport them to India”.

According to Alipov, there are at least 3,000 students in Kharkiv, 670 in Sumy and 900 in Pisochyn, with the first two Ukrainian cities remaining conflict zones.

“The Indians turned to us for help and we responded,” said the Ambassador. “The task now is to provide conditions for the safe evacuation through the territory of the Russian Federation.”


'Evacuation difficult during conflict'
Alipov said the Russian forces have been unable to get in contact with the Indian students yet. “The catch is that the fighting in these areas continues and where the Indians are, our forces are not. There is no way to pick them up. We have to meet in some places that are not under fire from Ukraine and from there it will be possible to safely transport the Indians to Russia.

“Russia has provided hundreds of buses, they are now ready to take the Indians out. Our buses are close to these places but they are not there. We have to ensure the safe passage of the Indians to the convoy.

"There are no deadlines, our buses are waiting and they will wait as long as it takes,” the Ambassador said.

Alipov reciprocated the Indian ministry of external affairs' statement that it had deputed a team from the Embassy to evacuate through the Russian territory.

“A group of diplomats from the Indian embassy has been sent to Belgorod to deal with the issue and coordinate with the Russian side. The question is to ensure the safety of these citizens because the Russian side does not have access to these areas.

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