The seventh Operation Ganga flight with 182 Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine reached Mumbai from Bucharest (Romania) early morning. Union Minister Narayan Rane received the students at Mumbai airport.
New Delhi: In a major decision, the Indian government has decided to depute four ministers, including Gen V K Singh, a former army chief, to countries neighbouring Ukraine to ensure effective and faster evacuation of stranded Indians in the war-hit nation.
Gen V K Singh, who had earlier played a major role in rescue operations of about 4,000 Indians stranded in Yemen, will be going to Poland, MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters at a special briefing. He also said India will send humanitarian assistance, including medicines, to war-torn Ukraine.
Four Union ministers will be travelling as special envoys to the countries bordering Ukraine to coordinate the evacuation of Indian citizens.
"Union Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia will be going to Romania, Kiren Rijiju to the Slovak Republic and Hardeep Puri will go to Hungary," Bagchi said.
According to MEA, about 8,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine since the country issued the first advisory.
The seventh Operation Ganga flight with 182 Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine reached Mumbai from Bucharest (Romania) early morning. Union Minister Narayan Rane received the students at Mumbai airport. The eighth flight of Operation Ganga has departed from Budapest to Delhi.
"It was a smooth process. We want to thank the Indian Embassy and government for evacuating us from Ukraine to Hungary. They are trying their best to bring us back home safely," said one evacuated student.
"The evacuation efforts are on… Situation on the ground continues to be complex and fluid, some of them quite concerning, but we have been able to accelerate our evacuation process," MEA spokesman Bagchi
said during Monday's special briefing.
Six flights have arrived carrying till Monday afternoon with 1,400 Indian citizens from Ukraine since Russia launched its military operation. Four flights have arrived from Bucharest (Romania) and two from Budapest (Hungary). With the Ukrainian airspace being closed for civilian aircraft, India is evacuating its citizens through its neighbouring countries.
"We request Indians to go to West Ukraine, but don't reach the border directly as there's a rush there. It'll take time. Go to nearby cities, seek shelter there. We are making arrangements. Our teams will help you. Don't panic, we have enough flights," Bagchi assured.
The Russian attack on Ukraine began four days ago. India started issuing advisories in mid-February, asking Indians to consider leaving Ukraine after tensions increased between Moscow and Kyiv.