Few hundred Indians are still stranded in Kharkiv – the second largest city of Ukraine – which over the last couple of days has become a ‘battlefield’.
“We estimate a few hundred citizens still remain in Kharkiv,” spokesperson for India’s ministry of external affairs (MEA) – Arindam Bagchi said.
Bagchi said the Indian government’s “priority is to take students out safely in whatever mode of transport possible”.
He added: “We are trying to take students out from the eastern part of Ukraine.”
“We are in touch with all countries particularly Ukraine and Russia at various levels,” bagchi further said.
He added: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to President Putin. Our only intention is to take Indian citizens out as soon as possible.”
The external affairs ministry spokesperson also clarified that the Indian embassy in Kyiv has not shut down operations.
“On Monday significant part of the Indian embassy in Kyiv had to move to Lviv. The embassy was not shut, it is fully functional,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
Notably, two Indian students have thus far lost their lives in war-ravaged Ukraine.
While one Indian student Chandan Jindal, a resident of Punjab’s Barnala, died after suffering an Ischemic stroke on Wednesday in Ukraine’s Vinnytsia, another student Naveen SG, hailing from Karnataka, died in Russian shelling on Ukraine.
“Two Indians died in Ukraine are completely under different circumstances. We have contacted the Ukrainian Embassy and are putting efforts to bring Naveen’s dead body back to India,” Arindam Bagchi said.
Russian invading forces have been pounding the city of Kharkiv by the means of indiscriminate heavy artillery shelling and missile strikes.