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Ramakanta Biswas

Pratik Dhal heaved a sigh of relief as soon as he landed in Delhi from Kharkiv city of Ukraine on Wednesday night.

The second year MBBS student from Odisha is, however, worried for his fellow students and friends who are still stranded in Ukraine amid the invasion by Russia.

Pratik, a student of Kharkiv National Medical University at Kharkiv city, on the northeast of Ukraine which is not far from the war zone, reached Delhi from Kyiv last night along with other students. 

Pratik told OTV on Thursday that there were about 1000 Odia students studying in Ukraine of which about 500-600 have already returned. He said about Odia 100 students returned with him. 

“Many of my roommates including some Odias are still stranded in Ukraine. They had book ticket in Air India for today morning. As Air India cancelled the flight, by the time they reached the airport in Kyiv, they were asked to leave the place,” Pratik said.  

“Yes there is a sigh of relief for me, but I got calls from my friends who are in a state of panic. They were taken back to the hostels in Kharkiv city following the cancellation of Air India flight. The city is in panic as Ukraine has imposed martial law,” he said. 

He said that those students who are in hostels in Kharkiv city have been told that electricity connection would be snapped anytime. Consequently, the panic-stricken students were trying to store water as much as they can. 

He said the supermarkets were open in Kharkiv till today morning and he suggested his friends to store all the essentials.

“My friends in Kharkiv heard explosions. They shared a video of a shaking window. They also showed me over video call that many locals were fleeing the city. The students are constantly in touch with the Indian embassy,” Pratik said. 

Pratik said that the students got stranded due to the callousness of the university authorities.    

“Our university had not clarified anything about online or offline classes. At the last moment, the dean declared that our classes will be held in online mode. I can say many students are stranded due to their belated information,” he said.  

The medico urged the Indian government to run special flights to evacuate Indians from Ukraine.  

“The Indian government should run full-fledged evaluation flights or military flights to bring back Indians, especially students, from the bordering areas with Russia. Because, flying passengers flights is not safe at this moment,” Pratik said.

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