‘Walk if no vehicle, but leave Kharkiv’, Embassy tells Indians (Ld)

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The Indian Embassy in Ukraine issued a second advisory within an hour asking Indian nationals in Ukraine to leave Kharkhiv any how by 6 p.m. on Wednesday. “If you are not able to get train, bus or any other means of transport, leave Kharkiv on foot by 6 p.m. (Ukrainian time), Indian Embassy in Ukraine told stranded Indian citizens in an “urgent advisory” on Wednesday.

Russia shelled the second most populous city of Ukraine, Kharkiv damaging various installations and fighting has now reached the streets.

“For their own safety and security, they must leave Kharkiv immediately, repeat immediately in the light of the deteriorating situation,” the embassy stated.

They should proceed to Pisochyn, Babai and Bezlyudivka as soon as possible for their safety.

“Those students who cannot find vehicles or buses and are at railway station, can proceed on foot to Pisochyn (11 km) Babai (12 km) and Bezlyudivka (16 km),” said the embassy.

“Proceed immediately”, said the embassy in a distress call.

“Under all circumstances Indians must reach these settlements by 1800 hrs (Ukrainian time, IST 9.30 p.m.) today,” it reiterated.

The embassy issued a similar advisory an hour ago, urging stranded citizens to leave.

Ministry of external Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that advisory issued by the Indian embassy for nationals to leave Kharkiv by 6 p.m. local time was given on the “basis of information from Russia.” He added that they should take any method to leave, including “on foot”.

“We have issued this advisory based on inputs from Russian side. We haven’t chosen the time. We haven’t chosen the location,” MEA spokesperson said

Kharkiv, a largely Russian-speaking city near the Russian border, has a population of around 1.4 million. It has been found that Russian troops have landed in Kharkiv and are engaged in heavy fighting with Ukrainian forces.

Videos are circulating online of an apparent attack on the regional police and intelligence headquarters in Kharkiv.

“Practically there are no areas left in Kharkiv where an artillery shell has not yet hit,” Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, said in a statement posted on Telegram.

However, Russia says it is only targeting Ukraine’s military infrastructure, air defence and air forces with high-precision weapons.

It was in Kharkiv where an Indian student was killed on Tuesday morning in shelling. Naveen Shekharappa Gyanagoudar, a 21-year-old medical student from Karnataka, was standing in the queue for food in Kharkiv on Tuesday morning when he was killed in a shelling.

Naveen was a final year medical student at the Kharkiv National Medical University. He was from Karnataka’s Haveri and lived near a prominent government building that was blown up by Russian soldiers.

The war between two countries has entered into the seventh day after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for military operation.

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