The Indian Gvernment on February 24 announced that it is closely monitoring the situation, and urgent “contingency plans” are being put into operation. A key Government official said that alternate evacuation routes are being activated due to airspace closure.
“Additional Russian-speaking officials have been sent to our Embassy in Ukraine and are being deployed in countries neighbouring Ukraine," the source maintained. It has been announced that the Indian Embassy in Ukraine is functional, and its advisories "should be followed carefully”.
NATO has warned that Russian forces in Belarus could reach 30,000, including Speznaz special operations forces, SU-35 fighter jets, S-400 air defence systems, and Iskander missiles, which can carry nuclear weapons and have a range of 500 km.
According to western estimates, half of Russia's air force is now deployed near Ukraine, and Russian warships have been conducting training exercises in the Black Sea.
The Government of India on Februray 24 asserted that the fast-changing Ukraine situation is being monitored closely, and the focus as of now is on the safety of Indian nationals. The Ministry of External Affairs control room has also expanded and made operational on 24×7 basis
The Government of India on Februray 24 afternoon asserted that the fast-changing Ukraine situation is being monitored closely, and the focus as of now is on the safety of Indian nationals.
The source said, "We are closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation. Focus is on safety and security of Indians, particularly students."
The Ministry of External Affairs control room is being "expanded and made operational on 24×7 basis".
After Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called a special military operation, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet that Russia had launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and was targeting cities with weapons strikes.
Earlier, some Indian nationals and students arrived at Delhi airport.
Meanwhile, global reactions to the unprecedented actions from Russian President Vladimir Putin against Ukraine are pouring in. Experts also say that perhaps the Russian President has got himself "isolated in a bubble of yes-men" who hardly caution him against making wrong and dangerous moves.
“If Modiji contacted Putin”
Igor Polikha, Ukraine's Ambassador to India, has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as both the countries hold special ties.
Ukrainian Ambassador Igor Polikha said New Delhi can play a more active role in managing the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
“India is a powerful global player. We are asking, pleading for the support of India. In case of aggression of a totalitarian regime, India should play its global role. Modiji is one of the most powerful and respected leaders in the world,” he said.
“I don’t know how many world leaders Putin may listen to. But the status of Modiji makes me hopeful that in the case of his strong voice Putin should at least think over. We are expecting a much more favourable attitude of the Indian government at this crisis situation,” said Igor Polikha.
“We urge PM Narendra Modi to immediately contact Russian President Vladimir Putin and our President Volodymyr Zelensky," the Ukrainian Ambassador requested the Indian government to intervene and negotiate a truce between Russia and Ukraine.
Emphasising India's role at this point, he said: “India had qualified in diplomacy through Kautilya, Chanakya several thousand years ago when Europe had no civilisation. India is an influential global player and for many years, was the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which was created at the time of the cold war.”
This comes when Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched a ‘military operation’ against Ukraine.
According to Ukraine's border guard agency, the Russian military entered the country from neighbouring Belarus. The Russian forces crossed Belarus to enter Ukraine from the North, said Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Northern border forces in Ukraine have come under attack by Russian troops.
Earlier on February 24, large explosions were heard in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Several cities, airports, roads are hit by the rockets as Russian troops take control of East Ukrainian cities.
France's President Emmanuel Macron, who had made a last-ditch effort to broker peace through a summit between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, said: "France strongly condemns Russia's decision to wage war on Ukraine. Russia must end its military operations immediately." He said, "France stands in solidarity with Ukraine. It stands with the Ukrainians and works with its partners and allies to end the war."
Reportedly, half of Russia's air force is now deployed near Ukraine. Russian warships have been conducting training exercises in the Black Sea. Footage released by Russia shows a Ka-27PS helicopter taking off and landing on the deck of a frigate during exercises.
Vladimir Putin has demanded legal guarantees that Ukraine will never join NATO or host its missile strike systems. A flurry of diplomatic activity, including efforts by France for a Summit between the Russian President and his US counterpart, has done little to ease tensions.