Govt Asks All Indians In Ukraine To Return; Air India Will Fly Special Flights On These Dates
India is calling its citizens including students stuck in Ukraine back home if their stay in the country “is not deemed essential”.
Family members of the embassy staff in Ukraine will also be sent home.
20K Lives On The Ropes
According to an official document in 2020, Ukraine houses an Indian population of about 18,000 Indian students.
The Indian embassy advised that Indian citizens should look for any available commercial or charter flight to get out of the country amid tensions over a possible invasion by Russia.
An earlier advisory asked students to leave Ukraine as soon as possible.
No Limits On Bilateral Flights
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has removed the restriction on the number of flights that can be operated between India and Ukraine under the bilateral air bubble arrangement to facilitate the return of Indians from the eastern European country.
It said in a statement that Indian airlines were informed to mount flights due to an increase in demand.
Indian students are to get in touch with respective student contractors for updates on charter flights, and also continue to follow embassy social media for updates.
Relevant Details For Indians In Ukraine
Indians in the nation who need information and assistance can also contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or MEA, which has set up a dedicated control room.
It also has a 24-hour helpline.
The control room’s details as given by the MEA:
- 1800118797 (toll free)
- Phones: +91 11 23012113, +91 11 23014104, +91 11 23017905
- Fax: +91 11 23088124
- Email: [email protected]
- 24×7 emergency helpline in Ukraine: +380 997300428, +380 997300483
- Email: cons1[email protected]
- Website: eoiukraine.gov.in
Air India Flights Planned
Air India, fresh from its sale to the Tata group, is flying three special aircraft to Ukraine on February 22, 24 and 26.
These will ply to and from Boryspil International Airport, Ukraine’s largest.
Bookings are open through Air India booking offices, website, call centre and authorised travel agents.
The embassy said that it is aware of reports of people not getting flights and asked them to not panic since more flights are being planned.
Till the time of publishing exact details were not provided.
Last-ditch diplomatic efforts to prevent an imminent Russian invasion and consequently a catastrophic European war are ongoing.
A phone call between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian leader Vladimir Putin on the matter took place as planned.
As per Western leaders, Russia has over 150,000 troops along with missile batteries and warships massed around Ukraine ready to strike.
Putin has also stepped up his rhetoric, reiterating demands for written guarantees that the NATO, roll back deployments in eastern Europe to positions from decades ago.