An Indian student has been reported dead in Ukraine’s Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, which is under heavy shelling by Russian forces. The ministry of external affairs (MEA) informed that government is in touch with the student’s family.
“With profound sorrow, we are confirming that an Indian student lost his life in shelling in Kharkiv this morning. The Ministry is in touch with his family. We convey our deepest condolences to the family,” said the MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in a tweet.
Bagchi further said that foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla is calling on the ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to reiterate India’s demand for an immediate safe passage for its citizens who are still in Kharkiv and other conflict zones. “Similar actions are also being taken by our ambassadors in Russia and Ukraine,” he tweeted.
The news of the student’s death came within an hour of the Indian embassy in Ukraine asking its citizens to leave the capital Kyiv immediately.
The Indian government has launched a massive mission to bring back its stranded citizens from war-torn Ukraine via neighbouring countries and has sent senior ministers to assist in the evacuation process.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the Indian Air Force to join the evacuation efforts under Operation Ganga, while special Air India flights are being operated to bring back civilians.
The adviser to the President of Ukraine said Russian troops were trying to lay siege to the capital Kyiv and Kharkiv. There were reports of a 40-mile convoy of tanks and other vehicles threatening the capital – a tactic Ukraine’s beleaguered President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said was designed to force concessions into Europe’s biggest ground war in generations.