PM Modi Discusses Safe Evacuation of Indians From Ukraine

Story Highlights
  • PM Modi chaired a meeting with his cabinet of ministers.
  • Recommended some ministers fly to countries neighbouring Ukraine to expedite evacuations.
  • Nearly 900 were air-lifted from Bucharest and Budapest on Sunday.

New Delhi: PM Modi on Sunday evening chaired a high-level meeting in New Delhi highlighting evacuation of stranded students as the country’s topmost priority. Sources report that PM Modi during the cabinet discussion stated that India is cooperating with neighbouring countries to expedite evacuation. The meeting was held shortly after PM Modi returned from his election campaign in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.

Some Union Ministers may go to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries to coordinate the evacuation of students, people in the know said. Minister likely to fly maybe Civil Aviation Minister Scindia, Kiren Rijeju, VK Singh and Hardeep Puri. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was part of the meeting, which was also attended by top government officials, including National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval.

India on Sunday expedited nearly 900 students from the borders of Ukraine. Three flights under Operation Ganga and Vande Bharat were operated from New Delhi and Mumbai to ferry stranded Indians at the borders.  Several state governments also announced to bear the expedition costs of the students hailing from their states.

Currently, 16,000 students are believed to be stranded in Ukraine, hiding in bunkers, underground garages and metro stations or their apartments. Several of them returned to India through the commercial flight being operated under the revised Air-Bubble. Shortly after the first few made it home, the Ukrainian defence Dept shut down its air-space as the Russians launched a war over night.  

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