The Ministry of Civil Aviation has lifted the restrictions on the number of flights that can be conducted between India and Ukraine under the bilateral air bubble agreement, but Indian students in the east European country are split on whether or not to leave amid Russia-Ukraine tensions.
While Russia announced a partial withdrawal of troops from the occupied Crimea peninsula, the US claims that up to 7000 additional Russian troops have arrived at the border in recent days.
“Despite the fact that I am residing on the Russian side of the border, the situation is not regular. I spoke with instructors and residents who were worried and stocked up on groceries in anticipation of a battle. Our universities have begun to build bunkers “According to Saad Ansari, a medical student at Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University, because the university requires in-person classes, any absence will result in a fine of Rs.500. “If the situation permits, I believe 80 percent of students will return to India, according to Ansari, who also stated that his university participated in the Vice-Unity Chancellor’s Day.
“Our flight tickets range from Rs. 78k to 1L, which is unaffordable for us students who don’t even buy water to drink and instead rely on purifiers to save money as they cost Rs.3 per litre,” said Ghanshyam Yadav from Mumbai who is a student in Ukraine. Ghanshyam, who has the same concerns about his absence from classes, said that as vivas and practicals are conducted almost every week by the college, the idea of leaving Ukraine is scary.
“The University is not granting us leave as they claim the situation is under control and we are constantly in touch with the Embassy to know of any updates on our continued presence in the country,” said Firoz Ahmed, a student from Odesa National Medical University, while Abdus Samad, another student from Ukraine, maintained that majority of the country was calm about the situation contrary to media reports.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said India does not have any immediate plan to evacuate its citizens from Ukraine and its focus has been on ensuring their safety rather than on anything “larger”.