The Indian embassy in Ukraine on Wednesday evening advised all its citizens to immediately leave the eastern city of Kharkiv, on foot if necessary, in view of the deteriorating situation and reach three suburbs before 6 pm Ukranian time (9 pm Indian Standard Time).

The advisory was issued as the Russian offensive on the battered eastern Ukranian city of Kharkiv intensified and stranded Indian students alleged they were not being allowed to board trains, reported NDTV.

In two urgent advisories, issued in all-caps, the embassy told the Indian students to proceed to Kharkiv’s suburbs of Pisochyn and Babaye, both 11 km-12 km away, and Bezlyudovka, 16 km away, “as soon as possible under all circumstances”.

“Those students who cannot find vehicles or buses and are in the railway station can proceed on foot,” the advisory stated.

Union Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the advisory asking Indians to proceed on foot, if necessary, to Pisochyn, Babai and Beslyudivka by 6 pm on Wednesday, was issued on the basis of information received from Russia, The Wire reported.

“We haven’t chosen the time,” he said without giving details about what information New Delhi had received from Russia. “We haven’t chosen the location.”

Several of the stranded students, as well as their relatives in India, on Wednesday put up appeals for help on social media and shared video clips of them waiting in queue at railway stations in Kharkiv.

A student, Pragun, who was stranded at a Kharkiv railway station, told NDTV that the area was being shelled but there were no bunkers close by.

He said one or two doors to a train were opened only for Ukranian people. “And for us there are guns, bullets but no trains,” he alleged, NDTV reported.

According to Pragun, around 1,000 Indian students are stranded at the railway station waiting for trains. He alleged that Ukranian guards were kicking and firing at them.

“I want to tell the Indian government, if something happens to us here, please take care of our family,” he said.

Another student said he had been waiting with a group for three hours at the railway station. “One train came and went,” he added. “We were asked to deboard.”

A third student, Himanshu Raj Mourya, told NDTV that Ukrainians citizens were not allowing Indians to board the trains. “They are firing guns,” he alleged. “They are threatening us and scaring us off. Girls are being beaten.”

Mourya said he was not sure how the students will reach the three specified locations, adding that there was lot of danger due to shelling of homes, schools and hospitals.

Abdul Zaheer, an agent who was helping several students get admission in Ukraine, told that there was no bus or train to leave the city.

“We tried to find all the options,” he said. “Students have to walk outside the city.”

Ukraine’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, rejected allegations of discrimination.

“In Ukraine, there is no discrimination based on race, skin color or nationality, including when it comes to the crossing of the state border by foreign citizens,” it said in a tweet. “The first come first served approach applies to all nationalities.”

The ministry added that Ukrainian border guards along with officials of neighbouring European Union countries and Moldova were “doing everything possible to speed up the passage of all citizens from Ukraine and have never created obstacles that would hinder this”.