"Ukrainian soldiers were using us as puppets"
An Indian student has alleged that she and other students were bullied and treated like “puppets” by Ukrainian soldiers at the Polish border.
The woman, who had been stranded, has since returned to Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
The student was enrolled at Ternopil National Medical University.
She said that up to 60 people hired a bus from Ternopil on February 26, 2022, to travel to the Polish border.
The unnamed student said: “But due to heavy traffic jams and chaos on the way, we were asked to get down 45 km from the border.
“We walked to the border in the chilling cold but Ukrainian soldiers didn’t give us permission to cross.
“Ukrainian soldiers were using us as puppets, sometimes asking us to stand, sometimes to sit.
“They also asked us to clap and laugh.”
She said that female students were eventually allowed to enter Poland.
The woman returned to India via a chartered flight under Operation Ganga.
Another female student who also returned to India via Poland said:
“The Indian government had issued an advisory asking us to return home due to the possibility of war.
“But important courses were going on, and we could not leave without the university’s permission.”
According to officials, six medical students returned to Indore from Ukraine on March 2, 2022.
Indore MP Shankar Lalwani and Ujjain MP Anil Firojiya received them and some of them became emotional after being reunited with their families.
Belarus Ambassador to the UN Valentin Rybakov claimed that Polish border guards assaulted approximately 100 Indian students and told them to return to Ukraine.
They were later placed in a refugee camp in Romania.
He made the allegations while addressing the UN General Assembly.
Mr Rybakov said: “On the 26th of February, Polish border guards beat up and turned back into Ukraine a group of around 100 Indian students who then were kindly placed in a refugee camp in Romania.”
In his speech, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya said one Indian national was killed and one Chinese citizen was wounded in the Russian military operation in his country.
Approximately 8,000 Indian nationals, mainly students, are stranded in Ukraine.
India has been evacuating its citizens through special flights from Ukraine’s western neighbours such as Romania, Hungary and Poland as the Ukrainian airspace has been shut down since February 24.
The Ukrainian airspace has been closed for civil aircraft operations since February 24 when the Russian military attacked the country.