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Did Ukraine stop Indian students from leaving ? Used as ‘human shield’ alleges Russia

Are some Indian students being held hostage in Ukraine? Well, the Indian government is saying they have no such reports of Indian nationals being held hostage anywhere in Ukraine. But,

Are some Indian students being held hostage in Ukraine? Well, the Indian government is saying they have no such reports of Indian nationals being held hostage anywhere in Ukraine. But, Russia has claimed that Ukraine is indeed holding some Indians hostage.

Students hailing from Assam who arrived back from Ukraine have made sensational revelations to Northeast Live that Indian students were not allowed to cross over to the neighbouring countries initially and were even assaulted and discriminated against by the Ukrainian military.

This big claim comes at a time when Russia also put forth a shocking statement that Ukrainian authorities have held Indian students as hostages in cities like Kharkiv which are seeing intense fighting.

Hours after its envoy to New Delhi said the Russians were working on a “humanitarian corridor” for the safe passage of stranded Indians via the Russia-Ukraine border, the Kremlin claimed that Indian students in Kharkiv had been “taken hostage” by Ukrainian security forces who were using them as “a human shield” to “prevent them from leaving for Russian territory”.

This was announced by the Russians when they briefed journalists after a conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin.

However, there was no mention of this in the Indian statement. In fact, the Indian side has stated that they have received no such communication from the Russian authorities. The Prime Minister’s Office said that the leaders reviewed the situation in Ukraine, especially in the city of Kharkiv where many Indian students are stuck and discussed the safe evacuation of the Indian nationals from the conflict areas.

It is estimated that around 4,000 Indians, mostly students in medical colleges, are stuck in the eastern and north-eastern parts of Ukraine, close to the Russian border. Moreover, as per the MEA, over 60 per cent of Indians stranded in Ukraine have been rescued so far.

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First Published: 3rd March, 2022 18:05 IST

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