Amidst the catastrophic war between Russia and Ukraine, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that it is taking steps to bring back about 18,000 Indians including students from Ukraine.
V Muraleedharan, MoS MEA said, "As the air space in Ukraine is closed, alternative arrangements are being made for the evacuation of Indian nationals." "Central govt will ensure the safety of all Indians," he added.
"I spoke to Malayali students in Ukraine on phone. Indian students in the southern areas of Ukraine have told us that they're getting food, water and power. Students and parents should not panic," Murleedharan said adding "Our govt has brought back Indians even from places like Iraq."
More than 40 soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed in Ukraine so far after Russian troops launched their anticipated attack on the European cuntry on Thursday, as President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions, warning other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to "consequences you have never seen".
Big explosions were heard before dawn in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa as world leaders decried the start of an Russian invasion that could cause massive casualties and topple Ukraine's democratically elected government.
Putin justified it all in a televised address, asserting the attack was needed to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine - a false claim the US had predicted he would make as a pretext for an invasion.
Around 50 Russian troops were killed in Ukraine's "retaliation" to Moscow's military operations, Ukrainian forces said on Thursday in a post on the General Staff's verified Facebook page, claiming that they have shot down six Russian Air Force planes, and two choppers as well as destroying two tanks.