Video Producer: Varsha Rani
Video Editor: Rajbir Singh
For at least a month, the tensions between Russia and Ukraine were boiling over the separatist Donbas region of Ukraine, which Russia wants to defend. This tension erupted today morning (Thursday, 24 February) when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered military actions.
In between all this, we Indians studying in Ukraine find ourselves caught in the middle of the battlefield.
We woke up to the loud sound of bombing. Soon we realised that Ukraine was under attack and since then, there is panic amongst us.
"Extreme bombings are happening here in Odessa. Explosions have taken place in the middle of Odessa, the city I live in. Bombings have taken place near student hostels too and people are sending us videos of the same. There’s a lot of panic because of that."Firoz Ahmed Khan, Student
Ukraine has imposed martial law, which restricts travel, so the airspace is also closed for civilian flights.
"We were waiting for the flights that were supposed to come today from India, but they couldn't as the airspace has been closed. Now, no flight from any country can land here. Many students who had gone to Kyiv to take their flights are currently stranded there. Everyone here is very confused as no proper guidelines have been given to us."Himanshu Nain, Student
There is an absolute chaos in the city. Huge lines can be seen outside the ATMs and grocery stores. People who can escape from the city have been trying their best to leave the country because of which the highways are jampacked. Those who cannot, are stocking up essential items expecting the worst.
Indian embassy in Ukraine has released several notifications on the situation here in the country. In a letter to the Indians in Ukraine, the ambassador said,
"I urge people to please stay wherever you are, in your familiar locations. Those who are in transit, please return to your familiar places of habitation... Those who are stranded here in Kyiv, please get in touch with your friends and colleagues in Kyiv, Universities, and other community members, so that you can temporarily lodge there."Partha Satpathy, Ambassador of India to Ukraine
We hope that help from India comes soon to us because the situation over here is getting very tense. Many of us were unable to go back to India earlier because we couldn't afford the tickets because of the soaring prices.
"Who will consider the students who are financially weak here? The ones who could afford to buy costly tickets have left already. But what about the ones who are not financially stable and cannot afford the tickets?"Atequr Rehaman, Student
We have been hearing that the Indian embassy is trying to help us evacuate via a different route. We have been asked to keep our bags, passports, and documents ready so that whenever possible, we would be taken to a country in the west from where we might be airlifted.
We hope this happens soon because, with the passage of time, the bombings have increased and they are being heard at regular intervals.
If the Indian embassy doesn’t come forward to help us soon, we’ll be in great danger because we can hear and feel the vibrations that are coming from the explosions that are taking place. Please help us evacuate. PLEASE!
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