Students Evacuation: All Indian students evacuate from Sumi, Ukraine: Ministry of External Affairs

New Delhi: After days of agonizing wait, India has finally managed to evacuate around 700 Indian students from Sumy in northeastern Ukraine. The students were taken in 12-14 buses to Poltava in central Ukraine following a communication from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. It was agreed on Tuesday to evacuate citizens, including foreign students, from Sumy to Poltava.

The government said the students would be taken to western Ukraine in a special train and that Operation Ganga flights were being arranged to bring them back to India.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “Happy to share that we have been able to evacuate all Indian students from Sumi. They are currently en route to Poltava, from where they will board trains to Western Ukraine. Flights are being prepared under Operation Ganga. Bring them home.”

On Monday morning, hundreds of students from Sumy State University queued outside their hostels to board buses organized by the embassy.

They were excited that they would eventually leave a city where food and water supplies have been severely affected as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The students said that the girls were asked to board first and the boys were asked to wait for their turn in the hostel. After about 15 minutes, the girls were asked to get off the buses and go back to their hostels.

“All the 700 (Indian) students were there, expecting the bus to drop Sumi. But there were only three buses. The girls were asked to board and we were asked to wait for our turn in the hostel,” said Sheikh Mohammed Danish, who is from Telangana and is a fourth-year medical student.

Danish said the boys returned to their hostel in the hope that more buses would come soon to take them out of Sumi.

Several student media said they were asked not to take pictures of the buses for “security reasons”.
“We only knew that the buses would take us to Poltava,” said a student, who had boarded the bus but later got off and returned to her hostel.

Poltava is a city in central Ukraine that is relatively easy to get to in the western part of the country. Most of the Indians in Ukraine were evacuated through the western border.

Another student who had boarded the bus but had to return to the hostel said she was “too tired to speak” after a day’s roller-coaster.

Students the newspaper spoke to said they had seen a “ray of hope” in the past 12 days after Russia invaded Ukraine.

(with agency input)

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