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‘Airfare Unaffordable, Govt Should Reduce It’: Indian Students in Ukraine

If we look at the internal situation here, it is normal, but we can’t say for how long it will stay that way.

My Report
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As tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalate, the Indian embassy in Kyiv on 15 February released an advisory asking Indian citizens, particularly students whose stay is not essential, to exit Ukraine.

The announcement by the embassy has left the students living in Ukraine in a dilemma due to several factors, such as skyrocketing flight prices and uncertainty over the situation.

Advisory by the Indian embassy.

Image accessed by The Quint

All the foreigners here are scared and they want to return to their home country. Countries like Israel and the Philippines have already asked their students to come back, and have even sent aircraft to evacuate them.

As soon as the advisory was issued, all the Indians here began booking their flight tickets. Now flights are not even available. Lots of flights have been cancelled because of the threat of war or insurance issues.

"Flight ticket prices have risen so much. The same flights that were available for Rs 20,000-30,000 are now costing us around Rs 80,000-90,000. Economy tickets cost as much as Rs 1-1.5 lakh. It is so difficult for a student to pay such a huge sum for a flight ticket."
Himanshu, Student at Odesa National Medical University

Flight tickets from Odesa, Ukraine to New Delhi.

Image accessed by The Quint


Families Concerned Back Home

There was a cyber attack on 15 February and our bank accounts were frozen. Our accounts have been restored now, but still, we have to go through a lot of hurdles, and we’re unable to decide whether we should come back to India or not. The Indian embassy did issue an advisory but after that, they offered no support, such as providing flights.

Our families and relatives are very concerned back home in India. There is a lot of panic amongst my colleagues here as well, because we are unable to decide if we should stay or leave. So due to this situation, we are financially, emotionally, and mentally stressed.
Firoz Ahmed Khan, Student at Odesa National Medical University

If we look at the internal situation here, it is normal, but we can’t say for how long it will stay that way. We have not received any assurance from the Indian embassy.


'Future Uncertain Even if We Return to India'

People here in Ukraine are stocking up groceries. The embassy advisory states that students who are here for non-essential work can leave for India, but it does not state anything specific and is not clear.

"Even if we go back to India there’s so much uncertainty. Will our classes be online or offline? The dean here has told us that our classes will be offline, so it will hamper our studies."
Ateequr Rahman, Student at Odesa National Medical University

This is the situation we’re stuck in, and we request the government to evacuate us. If they cannot do that, they can at least lower the prices of the flight tickets. Apart from this, we also want our home country to come up with a way to not let our education here get affected even if we go back to India.


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Topics:  Ukraine crisis   Russia   Ukraine 

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