Ukraine crisis: MEA control room received over 13K calls, 9K e-mails

New Delhi, March 11 The control room set up in the Ministry of External Affairs to oversee the evacuation of Indian nationals starnded in war-torn Ukraine received more than 13,000 calls and over 9,000 e-mails since February 16, sources in the ministry said.

So far, over 20,000 Indians, mostly students, have been evacuated since the government launched ‘Operation Ganga’ — the mission to bring back Indian citizens from war-hit Ukraine.

The control room was set up to provide information and assistance to Indian nationals stranded in the east European country amid simmering tension prevailing between Russia and Ukraine since the end of January.

In addition, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine also set up a 24-hour helpline to assist Indian nationals stuck there.

The evacuation of Indian nationals began two days after Russia initiated military action against Ukraine on February 24.

Apart from commercial aircraft, the government also pressed into service IAF’s transport aircraft C-17 Globe Master to speed-up the evacuation process.

On Friday, over 600 Indian students, who were stuck in Sumy in Ukraine, were brought back to India by three flights, including one IAF C-17 Globe Master.

The governments of Russia and Ukraine provided a humanitarian corridor on March 8 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russia President Vladimir Putin on March 7, requesting them to provide safe passage to evacuate remaining Indian nationals stuck in the war-torn country.

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