Indian Students seek Embassy help to leave Ukraine

Several Indian students have been stranded in Ukraine in light of the country announcing that Russia has launched an “invasion”.

Indian Students seek Embassy help to leave Ukraine - f

"We heard the sound of a blast yesterday"

Indian students stranded in Ukraine are seeking help from the Indian embassy as well as the government to fly home amid the Russian invasion.

On February 25, 2022, Chief Minister MK Stalin said the government would bear the expense of bringing back students from Ukraine.

He wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar urging him to arrange flights to evacuate students.

He said the government had received hundreds of distress calls from the family members of the students in Ukraine.

Videos of stranded students seeking immediate Indian intervention were shared widely on social media.

Parents of some of these students approached district collectors’ offices to request their evacuation.

Muthamizhan Sekar, a sixth-year student at Luhansk State Medical University, said there were around 800 Indian students in Vinnytsia.

Speaking to The Indian Express from Ukraine, Muthamizhan said neither the students nor the residents expected such a situation.

He said the university had at the beginning of February told them they could return home but did not explicitly warn them.

The 26-year-old said: “There is no panic situation here now.

“We heard the sound of a blast yesterday around 3 pm, but since then we have not heard anything.

“The university has asked us to follow whatever the Indian government says.”

The student added: “The Indian embassy also informed us to be confident and safe.

“The issue is that if we need any instant help, we are not able to get in touch with the embassy because the lines remain engaged for long periods.

“We have a WhatsApp group where we exchange information with students in other cities of Ukraine.

“Also through social media like Facebook and Twitter, we get updates from the embassy.”

Commenting on the shortages caused by panic buying, Muthamizhan said they had supplies to survive for the next three days:

“After the locals came to know about blasts in other cities, they started to stock up on essentials.

“Not many shops are open. In the few that are, things are getting sold fast.

“The ATMs have stopped working, except for one or two, which have long queues in front of them.

“We need to stand for five-six hours to get some cash and that too is limited.”

Muthamizhan added: “The university has sent us a list of areas where we can immediately seek refuge in case of an emergency.

“So we form groups among us and stay in those places.”

He said that he had been in touch with students in cities such as Kharkiv, Odesa and Kyiv, from where frequent blasts were reported:

“The situation is worse there. They are struggling for food.

“Many of them have been surviving just on water for the past few days.”

Ravinder is a Journalism BA graduate. She has a strong passion for all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. She also likes to watch films, read books and travel.