The Russia-Ukrain crisis is escalating every day and things in the forthcoming future might take the turn for the worst. Unless, stringent adherence to diplomatic dialogue is exercised by the parties to sort out the differences, as reiterated by India. Amid escalating tensions, the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan today, February 24, 2022, wrote a letter addressed to the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. The letter requests for intervention and assurance of the safety of 2320 Kerala-based students currently stuck in Ukraine.
Recently, the Civil Aviation Ministry removed restrictions on the total flights from Ukraine to India. Furthermore, the ministry had requested several carriers to venture into the possibility of operating flights from Ukraine, as part of its evaluation plan. As many as 17,000 Indian students were supposedly studying in Ukraine till last week.
2320 Kerala Students Stuck in Ukraine
The letter written by CM Vijayan expressed concern over the total students stuck in Ukraine amid worsening border tensions. This tense situation is likely to compromise the safety of Indian students who had traveled to Ukraine for education. Among the total students stranded in the country, 2320 belong to Kerala, highlighted the letter.
While most students wish to come back home, few wish to stay in Ukraine to avoid any disruption in their studies. Against the background, Kerala CM requested EAM Jaishankar to look into the matter for possible intervention. So that there is no room for comprise left in ensuring students’ safety. The letter further requests assurance of necessary arrangements including special flights for evacuating all Indian students.
An advisory has also been issued by the Indian Embassy to the students and citizens residing in Ukraine to stay rooted. Moreover, the embassy has also sought to make evacuation arrangements and asked all students to keep their passports arranged.
Flights Operations from Ukraine to India
Currently, Air India is operating special flights to Ukraine and back for evacuating Indian students stranded in the country. Flights have been scheduled on February 19, 22, and 24, 2022, along with four flights scheduled between February 25 and March 06, 2022, as per several reports in leading media.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Air India was at the forefront of evacuating Indians stranded abroad in the lockdown period. So, it is not surprising that the Tata-acquired airline is actively conducting evacuation operations amid the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
Moreover, flights scheduled by Air Arabia, Fly Dubai and Qatar Airways are continuing their operations from Ukraine to India, as per existing schedule. So, students who have already booked their flights on these airlines need not worry about returning home. Others stuck in Ukraine have also been advised to follow the Indian Embassy on its social media handles including Facebook and Twitter for frequent flight updates.