India to expedite evacuation of citizens from Ukraine
Amid ongoing Russia's military operations against Ukraine, the Government of India will arrange evacuations for Indian nationals in Ukraine.
"Two flights for Bucharest today and one flight for Budapest for tomorrow are being planned to be operated as GOI chartered flights," said Government sources.
Air India is operating three flights between India-Ukraine on February 22, 24, and 26.
The flights will take off from Boryspil International Airport, and bookings are open through Air India booking offices, websites, call centres, and authorized travel agents.
Earlier on February 24, with Ukraine closing its airspace after Russia launched a military operation against it, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had sent teams to the land borders with Ukraine in Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic and Romania to assist the evacuation of Indian nationals.
"Government of India and the Embassy of India are working to establish evacuation routes from Romania and Hungary." read the Indian Embassy in Kyiv statement.
The Indian Embassy also advised Indian nationals, especially students living closest to the above border checkpoints, to depart first in an organized manner, in coordination with teams from the Ministry of External Affairs to actualize this option.
"Once above routes are operational Indian nationals travelling by their own arrangements for transport would be advised to proceed to above border checkpoints and remain in touch with the Helpline Numbers set up at respective checkpoints for facilitation through the border. " added the statement.
Meanwhile, it is also urged to print out the Indian flag and paste it prominently on vehicles and buses while travelling, carry a passport, cash preferably in USD for any emergency expenses and other essentials and a Covid-19 double vaccination certificate, if available.
This comes as several state governments of India urged the centre to expedite evacuation operations for their stranded citizens in Ukraine.
A number of explosions were heard in the capital city of Ukraine as the Russian special military operation entered the second day, local media reported on February 25.
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized Ukraine's breakaway regions - Donetsk and Luhansk - as independent entities. Later, Putin ordered special military operations "to protect" the people in the Donbas region.