Indian envoy to Ukraine Partha Satpathy on Saturday said no stone will be left unturned for the safe evacuation of Indian students from the conflict-stricken eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy as he hailed the unparalleled strength and fortitude displayed by the young citizens in dealing with the adversities.
Satpathy made the remarks in a message that came hours after the Indian students in Sumy posted videos, saying they have decided to leave for the Russian border and that the Indian government and the embassy in Ukraine will be responsible if anything happens to them.
Following the embassy’s assurance, the students did not leave the eastern Ukrainian city that has been witnessing intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops.
The number of Indian students stuck in Sumy is around 700, according to officials.
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”The last two weeks have been extremely harrowing and challenging for all of us. Hardly anyone would have ever witnessed such pain and disruption in our lives,” Satpathy said.
”Nonetheless, I am proud of the maturity and fortitude displayed by our Indian nationals, especially young Indian students, in continuing to stay brave during these difficult times,” he added.
The ambassador’s message was posted on Twitter by the Indian embassy in Kyiv.
”Our embassy will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to ensure the safe evacuation of Indian students. I know that our students have been through a lot and have shown unparalleled strength and determination during these times,” Satpathy said. ”I urge you for some more patience and forbearance so that we can ensure your safety and security,” he added.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India has ”strongly pressed” the Russian and Ukrainian governments through multiple channels for an immediate ceasefire to create a safe passage for the Indian students stuck in Sumy.
In his message, Satpathy said more than 10,000 Indian students were evacuated from Ukraine over the last week.
”Barring Kharkiv and Sumy, almost all Indians from the remaining regions of Ukraine have been evacuated. In the case of Kharkiv, despite it being an active war zone with heavy shelling, we have maintained consistent and constant efforts to evacuate our citizens,” he said.
The ambassador said over 500 Indians were evacuated from Pisochyn in the last two days alone.
”Despite shelling, roadblocks, diversions and other major adversities, food and water continued to be delivered to Pisochyn, in whatever quantities and means available,” he said.
To the Indian students in transit to the western borders of Ukraine, Satpathy requested them for ”some more hours of strength”.
”The government of India will take you home soon. At the same time, I urge you to continue following important safety protocols and to cooperate with Ukrainian authorities and citizens,” he said.
”Please do remember, millions of Ukrainian citizens, including elderly, women and children are also moving out of Ukraine through the very same border points. We must be appreciative of the efforts of the Ukrainian authorities and maintain calm when crossing the borders. Together, we will get through this soon,” he added.