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Indian Students in Ukraine: ‘Living in Cold-Dark Bunkers’, Some Are Returning Home, Some Are Still Stuck

Flights took off to evacuate Indian students in Ukraine, some are Still Stuck in bunkers. Here are helpline numbers.


Where there is a will, there is a way

India to rescue nationals stuck in Ukraine via Bucharest

Helpline numbers

Surviving in Cold-Dark Bunkers and basements

Indian Students in Ukraine: Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a televised statement in the early hours of February 24, announced the launch of a “military operation” in Donbas and called on Ukraine’s military to lay down its arms. Soon after the Russian bombing started, Ukraine closed its airspace for commercial flights. Due to the reports of a possible war between the two neighbors during the past week, many Indians have left Ukraine and flown back home. But many could not afford to fly out immediately and could only book a ticket for a later date.

Due to the closure of the airspace, an Air India flight was sent for evacuation, which had taken off, had to turn back. There were nearly 20000 Indians stranded in Ukraine, most of whom were students.

However, India issued three advisories for its citizens in Ukraine. The Indian embassy in Kyiv was aware of air sirens and bomb warnings in various places. The Indian embassy said in the statement, “In case you are faced with such a situation, google maps has a list of nearby bomb shelters, many of which are located in underground metros.”

Earlier, the embassy had asked its people to turn away if they were heading to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and return to the cities they live in. It also said that it was making an “alternative arrangement” from the evacuation of Indian citizens.

As many parents received frantic calls from their children studying in Ukraine, many Indian politicians urged the government to ensure the speedy evacuation of Indians stranded in the country.

An Indian embassy team in Hungary was sent to the border post of Zohanyi to facilitate the exit of Indians from Ukraine.

Where there is a will, there is a way

Moving forward with its plan to evacuate 18000 Indian citizens trapped in war-hit Ukraine, the government of India has made alternate arrangements for evacuation after Ukraine’s airspace got closed.

India to rescue nationals stuck in Ukraine via Bucharest

As per the recent developments, The Air India flights have taken off from the Mumbai airport to airlift the Indian nations from Ukraine via Bucharest, Romania.

As per the plan, Indian nationals were asked to reach the borders of Ukraine-Romania. Then from there, they will be airlifted to India from Bucharest.

To assist the evacuation, teams from 4 countries, namely Hungary and Poland. Slovakia and Romania have already been posted at the adjoining Ukraine borders.

Ever since the tensions mounted between Russia and Ukraine, the Indian government has been on its toes, claimed by the government.

The Ministry of External Affairs set up a 24×7 control room to monitor the entire evacuation process and shared contact details of officials who Indian citizens can approach after crossing the Ukrainian border with respective countries.

Due to emerging tensions, the Indian embassy in Kyiv had issued multiple advisories to the Indian nationals to leave Ukraine.

On February 18, the advisory was issued announcing Air India flights to India on February 22, 24, and 26. Later, an advisory was also made about Air India’s decision to postpone its flights due to no bookings from Ukraine.

With the Russian troops making inroads in Ukraine, advisories are being made requesting students to stay calm and assuring them of evacuation arrangements via alternate routes. The embassy has also advised Indian nationals to take shelter in the nearest bomb shelter or bunkers in case of shelling in the vicinity.

Helpline numbers


Here are the helpline numbers for anyone to reach out to the Indian government

Hungary Mr. S Ramji Mr. Ankur Mr. Mohit Nagpal
Mobile +36305199944 +36308644597 +36302286566
WhatsApp +917395983990 +36308644597 +918950493059


Poland Mr. Pankaj Garg
Mobile +48660460814


Slovak Republic Mr. Manoj Kumar Ms. Ivan Kozinka
Mobile +421908025212 +421908458724


Romania Mr. Gaushul Ansari Mr. Uddeshya Priyadarshi Ms. Andra Harionov Mr. Marius Sima
Mobile +40731347728 +40724382287 +40763528454 +40722220823


As for the prices of flights, the government has said that the evacuation mission of the Indian nationals is by India, and the cost will be borne entirely by the government in India clearing the air around high prices of airline tickets agenda.

Surviving in Cold-Dark Bunkers and basements

However, there are some students, as per sources approximately more than 800 students who are still stuck in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. They are forced to take shelter in the cold-dark hostel basements with a temperature of minus zero degrees.

As per the stranded students, the evacuation process is taking place at a distance and roads are the only way to reach there. But there are strict instructions for them not to move out from the hostel.

The latest reports suggest that more than 40 Indian students walked to the borders of Ukraine to get back home.

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Ayushi Mittal

In her journey to become a journalist, Ayushi can inculcate your tale through her news writings. You may find her with a mike in protests, rallies, or in museums. So what's your story?
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