As fears mount that Russia is planning a renewed offensive on Kyiv, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine on Tuesday asked all nationals to leave the city.
In a new advisory issued on Tuesday morning, the embassy said “All Indian nationals including students are advised to leave Kyiv urgently today. Preferably by available trains or through any other means available.”
The advisory came amid reports Russia was moving a massive convoy of equipment and vehicles near Kyiv. Satellite imagery showed the convoy stretched about 64km in length.
Meanwhile, the Narendra Modi government has ordered the Indian Air Force to join efforts to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine, which had been primarily undertaken by Air India via flights to neighbouring countries, media reports said.
The reports said the Indian Air Force could deploy several C-17 transport jets, the largest aircraft in its fleet, from Tuesday to evacuate people. The C-17 jets will also deliver humanitarian aid efficiently to Ukraine.
“It is understood that the decision [to use the IAF] was taken during the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last evening. During the meeting, the PM said that the government is working round the clock to ensure safety of Indians in Ukraine,” Hindustan Times reported.