With Operation Ganga going full swing on Ukraine’s western border, the Narendra Modi government is in steady touch with Moscow to give safe sections to Indian students stranded in Kharkiv and Sumy warzones and allow evacuation through the eastern border with Russia. A Russian-speaking team from the Indian embassy in Moscow has been parked in Belgorod, which is close to both war-hit cities of Ukraine, for the past few days, and evacuation through Russian diplomatic channels is being worked out at the highest levels.
As per ballpark figures available, because of the fullest collaboration of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova, and Romania state-run administrations, upwards of 13000 Indians have been cleared out of Ukraine through the western boundaries with one more 3000 making their way to the Ukraine war zone to safety. Around 4,000 Indian students are stuck in Kharkiv and Sumy, where the Russian military offensive is on with Putin’s forces trying to encircle the key cities of Ukraine in a typical World War II operation.
With Russian-Hungarian-speaking External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar having past personal value with Foreign Ministers of all countries on Ukraine’s western boundary, Operation Ganga has taken off on the western front. “The problem is moving the stranded Indians to the western borders due to traffic jams and long queues on the Ukrainian side of the border. There is no problem being faced in evacuation as all the countries are offering the fullest cooperation. A total of seven Russian-speaking teams are available on all borders as well as Ukraine,” said a senior Indian diplomat on the Poland-Ukraine border. The synergy between the Ministry of External Affairs on Raisina Hill and the diplomats on the borders is evident as all the Indian missions in Europe have dispatched young officers to the Ukraine borders.