'Packing our bags but flight rates high,' say Indian students stuck amid Ukraine crisis

Student claims university warn of serious consequences if they go back to their countries and attend online classes. As there are around 18,000 Indian students in Ukraine, most of them pursuing medical courses, the Indian Embassy has asked them along with other nationals to leave the country temporarily if their stay is non-essential.

Abhishek NairUpdated: Tuesday, February 15, 2022, 09:11 PM IST
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'Packing our bags but flight rates high,' say Indian students stuck amid Ukraine crisis | File Photo

Despite Russia's defence ministry spokesperson claiming that the country is pulling back some of its troops near the Ukrainian border to their bases, some Indian students are planning to leave the country in a day or two due to the uncertainties.

As there are around 18,000 Indian students in Ukraine, most of them pursuing medical courses, the Indian Embassy has asked them along with other nationals to leave the country temporarily if their stay is non-essential.

"There are more than 20k students and other nationals from India in Ukraine. How are we all supposed to leave together within a day? Our university held a meeting wherein they asked us to attend online classes if we are leaving," said Sagar Thakkar, a medical student at the Odessa National Medical University who was also worried about the high prices of plane tickets which go "up to Rs.1 lakhs" and about exams being scheduled tomorrow for some students.

"I don't plan on staying if things escalate and we cannot take refuge in other countries unlike American nationals who are now going to Lviv near the Polish border and would be able to travel by road in the country too," claimed Thakkar who added that the locals around him have said that "nothing is going to happen."

Jaineel Jani, a student from Dnipropetrovsk State Medical Academy, claimed that there is a vacancy in tomorrow's flight via Air Arabia, which is the only working flight for India but due to some permit issues, his booking is pending. "We have been told by the University that if we go and the war will not take place, we need to be back immediately," said Jani.

"I have booked my tickets for tomorrow what if Russia attacks?," asked a concerned Shreya Pal, a student in Dnipro, who claimed the borders will be closed soon. "I am not sure what to do next as any way for the next two weeks we have online classes," said Keyur Karetiya, another student.

Some like Saad Ansari, from Ivano Fr ankivsk University, want the embassy and universities to co-ordinate so that their 100% attendance requirements are met without any repercussions. "We had a meeting with the vice dean of our college. He clearly said that there is no emergency declared in Ukraine so they can't give permission to us to go back to our countries and attend online classes.

If someone wants to go back to their country, they can but it'll be their individual responsibility for any further action in response to that," claimed Ansari, who is from Uttar Pradesh.

Aadarsh Parashar, from Lviv National Medical University, said as there are two layovers to reach India in a 30+ hour journey, he is expecting the embassy to help in making the flights more affordable.

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