Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): “You say you’re evacuating. We ask you to evacuate us from the war zone and not the safer western borders.” This is what Madhya Pradesh students have to say who are stuck in bunkers of Ukrainian cities like Kharkiv, Kyiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv and Dnipro while hiding from the constant shelling and firings.
A medico at Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University in Mykolaiv, Nusrat Khan, said, “We have been stuck in bunkers below our apartment for past five days. There was a bombing right in front of my house. The roads have turned into craters. We stepped out of shelter only for half-an-hour on Sunday.”
She said the government was claiming that they were rescuing Indians from the war zone. “But they are only moving the students of safer areas out of the country. The first bombing happened on Thursday morning. I had stocked up food and water for a week on Wednesday. But there were many students and Ukraine nationals in bunker who did not have enough food and water to survive. We have to ration the supplies and survive,” Khan told Free Press.
“Western borders are safe. They have asked us to reach the border. Are we supposed to travel on road, unprotected, for 1200-1500 kilometres and reach the border and then wait for days to be rescued? We will be blown away into pieces on the way if we attempt to do so,” added Basu, who is holed up in a bunker in Kharkiv, the second largest city and one of the most sensitive areas of Ukraine.
“Ukrainian government is assisting us better than Indian government. At least they are running trains at safe hours for their citizens. Though, Indians have to pay for it,” she further said.
“There are 175 students walking from Indian Embassy in Kyiv towards Kyiv railway station. How safe is that? Our government has left us stranded amidst the war, and is in no mood to help us, until we reach the western border on our own,” she adds.
“Belogorod (Russia) is just 80 kms from Kharkiv. We should have been evacuated from Russia border. India and Russia are long-time friends, how difficult was that? It’s not evacuation, but a scam,” Basu added.
Nusrat told Free Press that she would be moving towards her university hostel in the morning to board a bus that would take about 300 Indian students to Romania border via Maldova.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )