IAF aircraft left for Romania at 4 am to bring back stranded citizens: MEA

Expressing deep concerns over the developments in Ukraine, Shringla said that so far, 12,000 Indians have left Ukraine, which is about 60 per cent of total Indians present in Ukraine

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IANS

Indian Air Force's C-17 transport aircraft left for Romania at 4 am on Wednesday to bring back Indian citizens stranded in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Tuesday evening.

The aircraft took off from its base at the Hindon Air Station near Delhi.

The war waged by Russia has reached Ukraine capital Kiev and the country's second largest city Kharkiv. Further, different countries' embassies in Kiev, including the Indian Embassy, are moving their operations to Lviv amid intensified bombing.

Over next three days, 26 IAF flights have been scheduled to operate.

"At 4 am on Wednesday, a C-17 aircraft will fly to Romania to evacuate the stranded Indian students," Shringla said.

Expressing deep concerns over the developments in Ukraine, Shringla said that so far, 12,000 Indians have left Ukraine, which is about 60 per cent of total Indians present in Ukraine. He also confirmed that no Indian is stranded in Kiev as of now.

The Foreign Secretary said that Indian nationals have been advised to head to the western parts of Ukraine and exit from there whenever they can.

They can go towards Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Poland and Moldova. As many as 7,700 nationals have exited through these routes, he informed.


"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed deep anguish over the killing of an Indian student by Russian shelling in Kharkiv and we have not just reiterated our demands with Russia and Ukraine's envoys in Delhi, but also in those countries through diplomatic and military channels for the safe return of Indians," Shringla said.

Shringla also said that the first flight with humanitarian aid has been sent to Ukraine via Poland.

A flight left on Tuesday morning carrying the first tranche of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. The consignment comprised medicines, medical equipment and other relief materials.

Another flight will leave on Wednesday carrying a second consignment, also through Poland, Shringla said.

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