MoS Ajay Bhatt welcomed the Indian nationals rescued from Ukraine and said Operation Ganga is progressing successfully.
Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 3: Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt on Thursday said that Operation Ganga is progressing successfully and that four Union Ministers are taking care of every aspect of evacuation operations in different neighbouring countries of Ukraine.
He received the Indian nationals rescued from Ukraine and arrived in the Fourth Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft at Hindon airbase near Delhi. "I welcome you all on your safe return to our motherland… Prime Minister Modi himself is monitoring all developments, " Bhatt told the Indian nationals on the flight.
While talking to ANI, Bhatt said, "We are taking care of every student returning from Ukraine. Our four Union Ministers are taking care of every aspect of evacuation operations in different neighbouring countries of Ukraine. Operation Ganga is progressing successfully."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had issued orders to the Air Force to pitch in the rescue operations to augment the level of Operation Ganga. Notably, the American C-17 Globemasters and IL-76 transport aircraft are the most capable of flying long distances with around 400 passengers. The C-17 transport aircraft had helped in a big way to evacuate citizens and officials from Kabul when the Taliban captured Afghanistan and forced Americans to exit from there.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said nine flights took off on Thursday from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Poland.
"Nine flights have taken off today from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Poland, including IAF aircraft. 6 flights more are expected to depart shortly. Altogether, will bring back more than 3,000 Indian nationals," tweeted Jaishankar.
17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine since the advisories were issued, and flights under Operation Ganga have been increased to facilitate the evacuation of remaining students stranded in Ukraine. The students who left Ukraine also included some Indians who had previously registered with the Embassy of India in Kyiv.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting on the issue. The meeting was attended by Union Ministers S Jaishankar, Piyush Goyal, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and other officials. For the past few days, the Prime Minister has been chairing crucial meetings on the issue.
Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine's breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities.
Several countries, including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union, have condemned Russia's military operations in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Moscow. These countries have also promised Ukraine to help with military aid to fight Russia.
The US, Canada and European allies agreed to remove key Russian banks from the interbank messaging system, SWIFT, which means Russian banks won't be able to communicate securely with banks beyond Russia's borders. President Putin has also signed a decree on special economic measures against the US and its allies. (ANI)