India has asked its citizens stranded in Ukraine to reach out to the embassy for evacuation and also has issued helpline numbers. The announcement was made after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine.
In an advisory to all the Indian nationals in Ukraine, the embassy said: “This is to inform all Indian nationals in Ukraine that since the Ukrainian airspace has been closed the schedule for special flights stands cancelled.”
The embassy further stated that alternative arrangements were being made for evacuation of the Indian nationals.
The embassy will convey information as soon as such arrangements are finalised, so that the Indian nationals can relocate to the western part of the country, said an official.
“Please carry your passports and necessary documents on your person at all times. You are advised to follow Embassy website and social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) posts for updates on this regard.”
The Embassy issued helpline numbers which are +38 0997300483, +38 0997300428, +38 0933980327, +38 0635917881 and +38 0935046170.
India had started planes to evacuate citizens living in Ukraine since the war-like situation emerged. A special flight landed in Delhi earlier carrying 182 Indians.
But, an Air India flight scheduled to evacuate on Thursday was forced to return to Delhi this morning after the eastern European country closed its airspace.
Over 20,000 Indian citizens are in Ukraine as the crisis with Russia escalated rapidly over the past week.
Now, the Indian government’s immediate priority is to evacuate these people but the closure of Ukrainian airspace makes this a challenging proposition.
India had told the Security Council: “The situation is in danger of spiralling into a major crisis. If not handled carefully, it may undermine security.”