No help from Indian authorities in Kharkiv, Indian students in trouble as Russia occupies the city – The New Indian Express

Express press service

HUBBALLI: Indian students studying in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, are upset on Sunday after the city was occupied by Russian forces. Ironically, they receive no support from the Indian Embassy and they force the Indian government to evacuate them.

Ten students from Haveri, six from Ballari, four from Dharwad, three from Koppal and two from Gadag and Uttara Kannada districts are in Ukraine to pursue graduate and post-graduate studies in medicine. Most of them study at VN Karazin Kharkiv National University and Kharkiv National Medical University in the city of Kharkiv.

Speaking to TNIE, Shivani Madiwalar, who is studying medicine in her 4th year at Kharkiv National Medical University, said that on Saturday afternoon the war started in the city of Kharkiv itself and they did not heard only sounds of bomb explosions until late at night. The same noise has been heard since early Sunday morning too. They haven’t slept and all are in a state of dread and spend the whole day in an underground subway station.

“On Saturday afternoon, an Israeli bus arrived and evacuated its students from the war-affected city. Why can’t the Indian government, which has good relations with Russia, do this? When we called the Indian Embassy in Ukraine they cut off the phone call when asked about the evacuation. Starting Sunday morning, calls are not connecting,” she said.

Kharkiv is about 40 km from the Russian border and is in war-torn eastern Ukraine. Including hundreds of Kannadigas, there are approximately 16,000 Indian students studying medicine. Shortly after the war started, they contacted the Indian Embassy in Ukraine, but received no response. The Indian government only evacuates students from western Ukraine where there is no war.

Ganesh MS, a student from Haveri in Kharkiv, said they had been staying in the metro station for two days, which was totally packed. There is no food and water supply here, they eat what they brought from their apartments. “We have lost all hope from this government, we are looking forward to the Indian government to evacuate them and bring them home,” he said.

Parents here are very worried about their children and are approaching the district administration asking to force the government to bring their children back from Ukraine. District administrations have opened assistance for local parents whose children are studying in Ukraine and collecting information.

While countries like Poland and Hungary have taken in fleeing Ukrainians, some foreign citizens seeking to leave Ukraine have reported difficulties at the Polish border.

An Indian volunteer in Poland said on Sunday that some Indian citizens seeking to flee Ukraine to Poland were stranded at the border leading to Medyka, Poland, and unable to cross.

The Indian embassy in Kyiv said on Sunday that Indian citizens were being evacuated from Ukraine to Romania and Hungary.

But some have arrived at the border with Poland seemingly unknowingly and are stranded.

Ruchir Kataria, the volunteer, told The Associated Press that Indians seeking to cross at Medyka were told in broken English: “Go to Romania.”

But they had already made long walks to the border, and have no way of reaching the border with Romania hundreds of kilometers away.

According to Kataria’s wife, Magdalena Barcik, who works with him to help those on the run.

(With AP inputs)

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