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Nearly 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine border: MEA

Nearly 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine border: MEA

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New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday that around 17,000 Indian nationals have left war-torn Ukraine's borders since the Indian Embassy in Ukraine issued first advisory.

"We now estimate that nearly 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine's borders since our advisories were issued in the last week," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

He said that 15 flights were scheduled to take off in the next 24 hours to evacuate those still remaining.

He also added that in the last 24 hours, "Six flights have landed in India, taking the total number of flights that have landed in India to 15 and the total number of Indians who have returned on these flights to 3,352."

According to him, the Embassy in Kiev has been asked to set up a temporary office in Lviv to facilitate border crossing by Indian nationals.

He further said that a mechanism has been established for issuing emergency certificates to those who lost their Indian passports which will also help many Indian students.

The MEA spokesperson said that "substantial segment of our embassy team is now at Lviv for this purpose. Location of the other segment of the embassy team is dynamic".

He added that the embassy is exploring options to reach eastern Ukraine to assist the evacuation of citizens who are stuck there and said it's not easy because the route is not open all the time.

He also expressed deep condolences for death of Chandan Jindal, a medical student from Punjab who died of natural causes from Ukraine.

About urgent evacuation, Bagchi said that advisory issued by the Indian Embassy for nationals to leave Kharkiv by 6 p.m. local time was given on "basis of information from Russia". He added that they should take any method to leave, including "on foot".

"We have issued this advisory based on inputs from Russian side. We haven't chosen the time. We haven't chosen the location," he said.

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TAGS:Ukraine russia tension
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