The evacuation of Indian students stranded in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy began on Tuesday as they boarded buses to head towards central part of the country. As many as 694 people, including families living in Sumy have left for the central Ukrainian city of Poltava.

Reyansh Ashri, an education consultant in India, told that her students have boarded the bus in Sumy. Anuj Kumar, a final year student, said the buses will soon leave Sumy.

The Union Ministry of External Affairs has claimed that all students have left for Poltava, from where they would board trains to western Ukraine. Flights are being arranged to bring them to India, the ministry added.

The process began after the Russian embassy on Tuesday said it will establish a humanitarian corridor to allow civilians to leave besieged Ukrainian cities. A humanitarian corridor is a temporary demilitarised zone that allows evacuations or transport of aid in a crisis-hit area.

The Sumy corridor is one of the many routes that Moscow will open at 12.30 pm as it has declared a ceasefire to facilitate evacuations, the Russian embassy in India said.

The Indian embassy in Ukraine asked the students to evacuate urgently using any means of transport available.

“Considering the security situation, establishment of the next humanitarian corridor is uncertain”, tweeted the embassy.

Two routes will be opened from Sumy to the Russian city of Belgorod passing through the Poltava city in central Ukraine. Then, the students will be taken through air, rail and road to selected destinations or temporary accommodation, “in the southern direction in agreement with the Ukrainian side”.

On Monday, India told the United Nations that it was concerned about a humanitarian corridor not being created for evacuating its citizens in Sumy city, despite New Delhi urging both Kyiv and Moscow to allow such a passage.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also spoken to presidents of Russia and Ukraine, emphasising on the need for a ceasefire. He also urged them to resolve the issues through diplomacy.

Modi had told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Indian students needed to be rescued from Sumy city on priority.

This is the second attempt at evacuating Indian students from the city.

Other routes

  • Persons stranded in Kyiv and its vicinity and Chernihiv city will be taken to Russia’s Gomel city through Belarus. Then they will be taken in the southern direction.
  • Persons in Kharkiv will be taken to Belgorod city. From there, they will be taken by air, rail and road transport to selected destinations or temporary accommodation, to Ukrainian cities of Lviv, Uzhgorod, Ivano-Frankivsk.
  • From Mariupol, the stranded persons will be taken to the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don through Novoazovsk and Taganrog cities. From here, they will be taken to the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye.