An Indian man in Ukraine has refused to be brought back under Operation Ganga because he was told his pregnant wife, who is not a citizen, cannot be evacuated from the war-torn country. Gagan, who has fled from violence in Ukraine capital Kyiv, told news agency ANI he could not leave his family and his wife, who is eight months pregnant, in Ukraine. “We’ll be moving to Poland. We’re currently at a friend’s place in Lviv,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
India began Operation Ganga on February 26 – two days after Russian forces invaded Ukraine. Direct evacuation of Indians became impossible after the Ukrainian government shut down its airspace to civilian flights, forcing Indians to travel via land routes to neighbouring countries like Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova so they can be flown back.
Indian embassies in these and other nearby countries have set up checkpoints along the border with Ukraine in order to facilitate nationals in crossing over from the war-gripped country.
Flights by India – Air India and the Indian Air Force – then fly them out and back home.
Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia took to Twitter on Sunday to say India had successfully evacuated more than 15,920 students on 76 flights.
Of these, as many as 6,680 were flown out from Romania on 31 flights, 5,300 from Hungary on 26 flights, 2,822 from Poland on 13 flights, and 1,118 from Slovakia on six flights.
Furthermore, more than 2,100 Indian nationals reached the country on 11 flights during the day after they made their way through conflict zones (in some cases) into Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Poland. Of these 11 flights, six arrived from Hungarian capital Budapest, two from Rzeszow in Poland, two from Romania’s capital Bucharest, and one from Kosice in Slovakia.
Eight additional flights – three from Romania and five from Hungary, are expected to bring back more than 1,500 Indians tomorrow (March 7).