Russia-Ukarine War: Kashmiri Students Stuck In Kyiv In Panic, Seek Help

SRINAGAR: With Russia finally invading Ukraine, almost 200 to 300 Kashmir students are desperate to return home. They are seeking help to fly home. Most of these students are boys.

“My university has been completely at loss to understand the situation Ukraine is in, Till yesterday, they were saying they will continue with their classwork,” one student from the Ukraine capital told Kashmir Life on phone. “Now, all of a sudden, they have closed the campus and nobody knows what is happening.”

The student who talked to Kashmir Life is one of the four students in the medical school that a particular university operates in Kyiv, the capital of the country.

The student said the airspace has been closed and there is no possibility of a routine flight. “We are now networking with each other so that we are able to hire a charter to fly home,” the student said. “It will take some time but we are working.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has declared martial law in the country which has added to the crisis.

The student said that the entire capital is in a state of panic. Nobody knows what is happening and what will be the outcome, he said. “We were told that there were a few Kashmiri students enrolled in some medical colleges in the areas where the invasion has taken place,” the student said. “But the area was in crisis earlier and we presume that they might have left home or dislocated themselves. But I am sure.”

Russia has launched an attack during early hours in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other areas of Ukraine. Moscow claimed that they have neutralised Ukraine’s air bases and military infrastructure. Ukraine’s military, in response, has claimed that five Russian planes and a Russian helicopter were shot down in the Luhansk region. There were video clips of huge bangs and fires.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country has recognized two Ukrainian breakaway regions, Luhansk and Donetsk, as independent states. It was followed up by pushing troops into the country and now the Ukraine army is being asked to surrender. Putin’s announcements and actions have been condemned globally but the West has not done anything beyond that.

After Russia invaded Ukraine’s the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, it has been supporting an anti-Kyiv separatist movement that has led to around 13000 killings so far. Now it has led to the war.

Ukraine is the second major country in Europe after Russia. Its population is more than four crore people. It is predominantly Orthodox Chratian.

For the Indian nationals in Ukraine, the Embassy of India in Kyiv has issued an advisory asking them to refrain from travelling to Kyiv and stay put in safe locations.

“All those who are travelling to Kyiv, including those travelling from western parts of Kyiv, are advised to return to their respective cities temporarily, especially towards safer places along the western bordering countries,” the advisory said.

Sources in the Foreign Ministry told Mint newspaper that at present, there is no possibility of sending a special aircraft to Ukraine to evacuate the Indians including the Indian embassy staff as the airspace of Ukraine has been closed.  “The government is looking at ways to extend assistance to Indians there,” it quoted a source saying.

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