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Suryakant Jena

As the most severe crisis in the history of Europe since World War II unfolds with the Russian military offensive on Ukraine, a sinister sense of paranoia pervades across the globe. 

One can just imagine the torment not only lakhs of Ukrainians but also thousands of nationals from numerous other countries are forced to go through in the past few days. 

And if not for social media, it would nearly have been impossible to see how devastating the impact of the war between the two nations has been. 

Hundreds of Indians especially students, including those from Odisha, who are lucky to have been evacuated by the Government of India have narated the horrific tales of witnessing the conflict from close range. Meanwhile, several others who are waiting to be evacuated from the war-ravaged country are now torn between despair and glimmer of hope for homecoming. 

A social media video released by an Odia student at Kharkiv National Medical University shows that hundreds of people have been forced to take refuse in the basement of a building for protection from the missiles and gunfire from Russian troops for the last three days.

With relentless fighting breaking out between Russian troops and Ukrainian forces on multiple fronts in several cities of Ukraine, another video posted by a student showed how a subway station has been used by terrified people as bomb shelters. 

And unlike the atrocities spilling out on the streets, a video shot from one such underground rail station captured the pictures of true humanity by some Odia students and their other fellow Indians distributing chocolates and biscuits to hungry kids as food and other essentials continue to deplete. 

"Slowly we are losing our morale because it is fourth day into the outbreak of the war crisis and we are still trapped here in the underground station struggling to live on with morsel of food and water. We hope that government will take action at the earliest to rescue us from the conflict, "said a girl student trapped in a metro station in Ukraine. 

 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs has intensified its Operation Ganga to evacuate each and every one of the Indians stranded in Ukraine. Under the mission overseen personally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has deployed officials of embassies to airlift Indian nationals from the Ukraine borders via countries like Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia. 

The MEA has been continuously releasing advisories for the information of stranded Indians in Ukraine to act according to the direction of the government for swift evacuation. The External Affairs Ministry has also rolled out dedicated round-the-clock helpline numbers and special handles for Twitter for establishing contacts with stranded nationals.

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