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Special Air India flight brings back 240 Indians from Ukraine

Indians who arrived from Ukraine in the special Air India flight on Tuesday night (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@mpmcorner)

A special Air India flight arrived at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport from Ukraine's Boryspil airport on bringing home over 240 Indian citizens on Tuesday night as tensions between Ukraine and Russia escalated. 

More than 20,000 students from India are currently studying in different parts of Ukraine.

"Feeling relieved," an Indian student pursuing a medical course in Ukraine told ANI news agency after landing at Delhi airport.

Another Indian student, Krish Raj who is pursuing MBBS in Ukraine on arriving, said, "I was staying far from the border area so the situation was normal there, returned after the advisory issued by Indian Embassy."

Air India will operate a total of three flights from Ukraine to India. Air India is the only airline in India to operate flights from Ukraine during the impending war in the country.

The Indian Embassy in Kyiv said, "In view of the continued high level of tensions and uncertainties of the current situation in Ukraine, additional flights are being organised."

The advisory listed the available flights from Kyiv to New Delhi. A total of four flights are scheduled to depart between February 25 and March 6. Scheduled flights of airlines such as Air Arabia, Fly Dubai, Qatar Airways are also continuing to operate their routine flights from Ukraine to India.

Tensions rose dramatically after Russian President Vladimir Putin got a clearance from lawmakers to send the army to Ukraine breakaway eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk after recognizing their independence in his address to the nation on Monday.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) conducted a meeting on the present tensions following a request from the United States and allies on Monday.

Condemning Russia's move to recognize regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations demanded Moscow to return to the table for negotiations as well as immediate and complete verifiable withdrawal of occupation troops.

India strongly emphasized the need for all sides to exercise the utmost restraint and intensify diplomatic efforts to ensure a mutually amicable solution.

India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti said that the escalation of tension along the border of Ukraine with the Russian Federation has the potential to undermine peace and security of the region.

Also read: UNSC: India asks all sides to exercise restraint amid escalating tension along Ukraine-Russia border