HUBBALLI: Desperate to flee war-hit Ukraine, several medical students from Haveri district have embarked on foot to reach the Russian border. After the conflict escalated in Kharkiv and the Indian authorities sounded evacuation warnings a day earlier, the students were in no mood to take anymore risks. They started trekking from one village to another, seeking transport and trying to reach the border areas.
After Russia gave time to evacuate Ukraine’s second largest city till 6 pm (local time) on Wednesday evening, three trains were arranged for those stranded. In the first train, only women were allowed; while in the second, only Ukrainians were allowed. In the third train, however, many others, including Indians, failed to get seats.
“Therefore, around 1,500 Indian students who were not unable to board trains, are heading for the Russian border as per the advisory of the Indian Embassy. Students from Haveri district are among these students, who are walking towards the border,” said a parent of a stranded student.
Suman Vaishyar and Amit Vaishyar (cousins) from Chalageri, and Praveen Ajaraddy of Ranebennur from Haveri district, are among the 1,500 students, who are heading for the Russian border. “We have walked about 20 km from Kharkiv towards the border, where there is an airport in Russia to airlift us,” Amit reportedly told his father Venkatesh Vaishyar. Belgorod International Airport, located about 80 km from Kharkiv, is the nearest airport.