Pradeep Singh

Parents of Odisha students stuck in Ukraine are currently having a harrowing time as Russia has intensified bombing in some major cities, including Kyiv and Kharkiv. 

Though the Indian government has gone all out to safely evacuate all the stranded citizens at the earliest, several of them are still stuck in the eastern European country.

On the other hand, those who have returned from the war zone are sharing their plight and the ‘hellish’ experience, which is further adding to the worries of the waiting parents here in Odisha. As their children continue to struggle for survival in the foreign land, they are spending restless days and sleepless nights.

Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy said (in a tweet) that Indians in Kharkiv should reach Pesochin, Babaye or Bezlyudovka latest by 6 PM (local time) today (9.30 pm IST). The Embassy said that the students ‘under all circumstances must reach these settlements’.

However, several students who are still stuck in Kharkiv asked as to how they could reach those settlements without any means of transport and when massive bombing is underway. 

Barsha, an Odia student who boarded a train today to leave Kharkiv, said, “Many of our friends are still stuck there, especially boys as girls, and Ukraine locals were being prioritised. We luckily got a chance to board the train.”

She further questioned, “The Embassy has told to leave Kharkiv by 6 PM, but, how can our friends still stuck there leave the city when no means of transport available?” 

Besides, some disturbing videos of Ukraine soldiers beating up Indians have also gone viral. Narrating their behaviour, a couple of Odia students who have safely returned to Odisha said, “They (Ukrainian soldiers) were thrashing students. The situation was even worse at the boarders. The Ukrainian troops were not leaving Indians and making them stand for hours,” said a returnee MBBS student.

“We are currently hiding in this metro. The situation is critical now. We don’t have enough to eat and drink; unable to even sleep. We request to evacuate us as early as possible,” appealed an Odia student who is still stuck in the Ukraine.

“For the last three days, we are here in the metro near the Russian border. Due to continuous bombing in the last three to four days, we are not even going outside,” said another stranded Odia student.

Meanwhile, the Russian envoy to India, Denis Alipov, has said that his government will work on ways to provide corridor to Indians for secure passage to Russian territory. “We are in touch with India on the safety of Indians in Kharkiv and other conflict zones in Ukraine,” said Alipov.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi today reiterated that India would not spare any effort to bring its citizens from Ukraine. Over 1,300 Indians have reportedly been evacuated in the last 24 hours.

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