No Indian left in Kharkiv region of Ukraine, says government
New Delhi, March 5, 2022
The Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday said that no Indian is now left in the Kharkiv region in war-torn Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia last week.
"From Pisochyn and Kharkiv, we should be able to clear out everyone in the next few hours, so as far as I know no one is left in Kharkhiv," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a media briefing.
He said that now the main focus is on the Sumy region.
In nearby Pisochyn, Bagchi said, as of a few hours ago, there were less than 300 students there who were to be evacuated. "We hope to complete that task by today," the spokesperson said.
He said that, during the past 24 hours, 15 flights have landed with around 2,900 people under Operation Ganga. Till now, approximately 13,300 people have returned to India so far by 63 flights.
"As many as 13 flights are scheduled in the next 24 hours," Bagchi said.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine started in the early hours of February 24 after Russian forces launched a major assault on Ukraine, firing missiles on cities and military installations and posing a serious threat to the Indian citizens residing there. Since then, India is evacuating its citizens from the war-torn region.
Meanwhile. the MEA spokesperson said that one Nepal national would also be arriving in India.
More than 2,000 Indian nationals are expected to be evacuated under "Operation Ganga" from the borders of war-torn Ukraine on Sunday.
The Government has initiated an airlift operation to evacuate Indian nationals, who have made their way to the countries neighbouring Ukraine. It has deployed a number of special charter flights as well as Indian Air Force aircraft to ferry back Indian citizens.
"Tomorrow (Sunday), 11 special flights are expected to operate from Budapest, Kosice, Rzeszow and Bucharest, bringing more than 2,200 Indians back home," a statement issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.
"Under Operation Ganga, about 3,000 Indians have been airlifted on Saturday by 15 special flights from Ukraine's neighbouring countries," it added.
According to the statement, Saturday's operations were conducted via 12 special civilian and 3 IAF flights.
The civilian flights were operated from Budapest, Suceva, Kosice and Rzeszow.
"With this, more than 13,700 Indians have been brought back since the special flight operations began on February 22," the statement said.
Besides, the ministry said that 11,728 Indians have been brought back by 55 special civilian flights.
Till date, the IAF has flown 10 sorties to bring back 2,056 passengers, besides taking 26 tonnes of relief load to the Ukraine's neghbouring countries as part of Operation Ganga.
"Three IAF C-17 heavy lift transport aircraft, which had taken off from the Hindon air base on Friday, landed back on Saturday morning. These flights evacuated 629 Indian nationals from Romania, Slovakia and Poland. These flights also carried 16.5 tonnes of relief load from India to these countries," a statement said.