Bid to evacuate Indian students from Sumy in Ukraine aborted as bombing resumes
KOCHI: In a big disappointment for around 700 students from India staying at Sumy State University Hostel in the north eastern province of Ukraine, the plan to evacuate them through the Russian border was aborted as bombing resumed in the city. The Indian Embassy had arranged buses for evacuation and the first batch of girl students had boarded four buses when the bombing started.
Subsequently, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine informed the evacuation team that the ceasefire has been violated and heavy shelling has resumed. The students were advised by the Embassy to return to the hostel and stay safe till alternative arrangements are made.
“The students were finally relieved as the Embassy informed about evacuation. We had packed our belongings and were waiting in front of the hostel. The embassy brought four buses and girls had boarded the bus. When they were about to start, there was a huge explosion near the hostel. Subsequently the evacuation team deployed by the embassy got information that the ceasefire has been violated and it is not safe to transport the students. So we returned to the hostels,” said Abhinav Santhosh, a sixth-semester medical student from Chalakudy.
However, the students were in deep trouble as the hostel staff had taken away their food stocks. “The situation has grown from bad to worse. When we returned to the hostel, the rooms were open and our belongings, including the buckets used to store water were missing. The cleaning staff had taken everything and even the food stocks were stolen. All of us are depressed and don’t know what to do,” he said.
The students had pinned their hopes on the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday. Though Russia had opened humanitarian corridors to facilitate foreigners in four cities to cross the border, Ukraine had objected to it which resulted in the ceasefire violation.