Indians feel the heat as Ukraine-Russia tensions sparks fear of full-blown war

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Permanent representative and Ambassador of India to United Nations TS Tirumurti speaks at the UN Security Council meeting on Yemen, in New York on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

Air India will operate three flights between India-Ukraine next week on February 22, 24 and 26 to bring back home the Indians wanting to return home

Our Bureau
New Delhi/Kyiv

Amid the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, Indians living in Ukraine and their families residing in India have not been left untouched by the stress and fear that such a global political situation brings to all.

On one hand, there are Ukrainians, residing in India, who are fearful of going back to their home nation because of ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia and on the other hand, are children pursuing their academic courses in Ukraine but are away from their loved ones during this hour of apprehension and distress. Their families urge the Government of India to ensure that their children are brought back safely to them. Allona Singh, a Ukrainian woman, married to a doctor residing in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad in 2007, is having apprehensions about sending her father, who has been residing with the family in UP since July 2021, back to his home country.

Her family’s homeplace is just an hour and a half away from Kharkiv, Ukraine. “My brother lives there, some relatives and friends too. My father had come with me in July last year. My father wants to go back because he misses his son and the way of living there. Here, the weather, food etc has changed. My father says he wants to go but circumstances are scary over there. Things are okay at my home place though,” said Allona to ANI.

On the other hand, in Amroha, another family is anxious about the well-being of their daughter who is currently pursuing her MBBS in Ukraine. Satendra Singh, her father, made a request to the Government of India to ensure safe return to the country of all the children currently pursuing their higher studies in Ukraine.

“My daughter Anjali has gone to Ukraine in December, 2020 to pursue her MBBS. Circumstances over there are not good currently. We are fearful because our children are living there. I request the government of India to bring back all the children studying there back to India safely,” said Singh.

Tensions over Ukraine have increased in recent months as Russia and NATO are accusing each other of amassing troops on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

The United States and Ukraine accuse Russia of preparing to invade. Meanwhile, Moscow denies the claims and maintains that it has no intention of attacking any country.

Earlier, India called for immediate de-escalation of Russia-Ukraine border tensions. Tirumurti said the Russia-Ukraine military tensions can only be resolved through diplomatic dialogue.

A White House spokesperson had earlier said that the US would welcome any country’s attempt to play a role in de-escalation of mounting tensions between Russia and Ukraine, including India. On Thursday, the US Embassy in Kiev informed that Russia’s shelling of Stanytsia Luhanska in Ukrainian government-controlled territory in Donbas hit a kindergarten, injured two teachers, and knocked out power in the village.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has removed the restriction on the number of flights that can be operated between India and Ukraine under the bilateral air bubble arrangement to facilitate the travel of Indians from the eastern European country.

“MoCA has removed the restriction on a number of flights and seats between India-Ukraine in Air Bubble arrangement. Any number of flights and Charter flights can operate. Indian airlines were informed to mount flights due to an increase in demand. MoCA facilitating in coordination with MEA,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement.

On February 15, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine asked its citizens to leave Kiev temporarily amid the ongoing tension between Russia and Ukraine. In an advisory, India also requested its nationals to keep the Embassy informed about the status of their presence to enable it to reach them where required.

Now, Air India will operate three flights between India-Ukraine next week on February 22, 24 and 26. The flights will take off from Boryspil International Airport and bookings are open through Air India booking offices, website, call centre and authorized travel agents. “#FlyAI : Air India will operate 3 flights between India-Ukraine (Boryspil International Airport) India on 22nd, 24th & 26th FEB 2022 Booking open through Air India Booking offices, Website, Call Centre and Authorized Travel Agents,” Air India said in a Tweet on Friday.

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