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Our students are not being held hostage in Ukraine, says India

India has requested support of the Ukrainian authorities in arranging special trains for taking out students from Kharkiv (Images courtesy: MEA)

Responding to reports of Indian students being held hostage in Ukraine, India on Thursday denied any such "hostage situation", saying it continues to coordinate with several countries in the region to evacuate its citizens at the earliest from the conflict zone.  

"Our embassy in Ukraine is in continuous touch with Indian nationals in Ukraine. We note that with the cooperation of the Ukrainian authorities, many students have left Kharkiv yesterday. We have not received any reports of any hostage situation regarding any student," Arindam Bagchi, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson said today.

"We have requested support of the Ukrainian authorities in arranging special trains for taking out students from Kharkiv and neighbouring areas to the western part of the country," he added.

The Russian defence ministry had said on Wednesday that it has received information about the Ukrainian authorities forcibly keeping a large group of Indian students in Kharkov who wish to leave Ukrainian territory and go to Belgorod.


As reported by IndiaNarrative.com, a team of officers from the Indian embassy in Moscow is already camping in Belgorod in the border region of Russia adjoining Ukraine to ensure an urgent safe passage for all Indian nationals who are still in Kharkiv.

Accusing the Kiev authorities, Russia said that the Ukrainian security forces are using Indian students as a "human shield" to prevent them from leaving for Russian territory.

Ukraine, on the other hand, called on Russia to "immediately cease its hostilities in Kharkiv and Sumy" so that the evacuation of the civilian population, including foreign students, can be arranged.

"We urgently call on the governments of India, Pakistan, China and other countries whose students have become hostages of the Russian armed aggression in Kharkiv and Sumy, to demand from Moscow that it allows the opening of a humanitarian corridor to other Ukrainian cities," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry tweeted Wednesday night.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the second time in a week last night as both leaders reviewed the situation in Ukraine, especially in the city of Kharkiv where many Indian students are stuck.  

The Kremlin later said that Putin stressed during the meeting that all the necessary instructions have been given, and the Russian military is doing everything possible to ensure the safe removal of Indian citizens from the war zone and their return to their homeland.

With the help of local authorities and neighbouring countries, India has evacuated a large number of its nationals from Ukraine in the last few days.

"We have been coordinating effectively with the countries in the region including Russia, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova. We appreciate the help extended by the Ukrainian authorities to make this possible. We thank Ukraine’s western neighbours in receiving Indian nationals and for accommodating them while they waited for flights to take them back home," the MEA spokesperson said today.

Also Read: PM Modi and Russian President Putin speak once again, discuss evacuation of Indian citizens from Kharkiv through humanitarian corridor