The evacuation of nearly 700 Indian students stranded in Ukraine’s Sumy has started. Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri told reporters that all 694 Indian students, who were stranded in Sumy, have left for Poltava in buses.
“Last night, I checked with the control room, 694 Indian students were remaining in Sumy. Today, they have all left in buses for Poltava,” Mr Puri told reporters.
A medical student at the Sumy university, who did not wish to be identified, confirmed that buses have arrived and students have started boarding the buses, reported news agency Press Trust of India. “We have been told that we will go to Poltava. I am praying that we reach a safe zone and this misery is over,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
Sumy, located near the Russian border and around 350 km east of Ukrainian capital Kyiv, has seen heavy fighting since the invasion. Today, at least nine people, including two children, died in an air strike in the city.
The students have been waiting for evacuation for days. On Saturday, unable to cope any longer with the bitter cold, depleting food and water supplies, the students shared videos saying they have decided to begin the risky journey to the Russian border 50 km away.
But they were dissuaded by the government, which contacted them and asked that they “avoid unnecessary risks”.