Wednesday, 29 June, 2022
HomeIndiaNo Indian student is hostage in Ukraine, foreign ministry rubbishes claims

No Indian student is hostage in Ukraine, foreign ministry rubbishes claims

Russia had said Wednesday that Ukrainian security forces were using students as ‘human shields’; Ukraine has also refuted this allegation.

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New Delhi: India has debunked claims that its students were being held hostage in Ukraine.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Thursday, “Our embassy in Ukraine is in continuous touch with Indian nationals… We note that with the cooperation of the Ukrainian authorities, many students have left Kharkiv yesterday. We have not received any reports of any hostage situation regarding any student. We have requested support of the Ukrainian authorities in arranging special trains for taking our students from Kharkiv and neighbouring areas to the western part of the country.”

At a media briefing in Moscow Wednesday, the Russian defence ministry had said that Ukrainian authorities were ‘forcibly keeping’ a group of Indian students in Kharkiv, and stopping them from going to Belgorod.

A Kremlin readout said: “…these students are actually taken hostage by the Ukrainian security forces, who use them as a human shield and in every possible way prevent them from leaving for Russia. Responsibility in this case lies entirely with the Kiev (Kyiv) authorities.”

The Ukrainian Ambassador to India Igor Polikha strongly refuted these allegations and said a “bleeding” Ukraine was doing everything to help foreign students stranded in the country.

India’s foreign ministry also said Thursday that the government has been coordinating effectively “with the countries in the region including Russia, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova”. A large number of Indian nationals have been evacuated from Ukraine in the last few days, the ministry’s statement said.

It added: “We appreciate the help extended by the Ukraine authorities to make this possible. We thank Ukraine’s western neighbours in receiving Indian nationals and for accommodating them while they waited for flights to take them back home.”

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said Wednesday that nine flights, including some from the IAF, had taken off for Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Poland. “6 flights more (are) expected to depart shortly. Altogether, (we) will bring back more than 3000 Indian nationals,” he tweeted.

Also read: Western sanctions won’t impact S-400 missile system supply to India, Russia says


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