A family of four has sent out a desperate plea out of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv that was supposed to have been evacuated of all Indians by Tuesday, saying they have been unable to leave the city amid an escalating Russian assault.
“We are a family of four. Myself Dr Rajkumar Santhalani, my wife Mayuri Mohanandane, my daughter Gyana Raj Santhalani, and my son as you can see Partha Santhalani, who is having fever and we are unable to get from Kyiv,” he said in a video message.
“Embassy people called us many times but they were unable to locate us. They said they will be sending some transport. But till now we (haven’t) got any transportation from their side. And outside the firing is there,” he said.
“My neighbours have asked me to stay on guard in the balcony as pro-Russians are coming. And Russians and Ukrainians are fighting amongst each other. And the fire shots are there, sometimes small bombs. And they are looting people,” Dr Santhalani said.
“My neighbour was looted today. Someone took his mobile. And we don’t have a heater here. It’s too cold. And my son is having a fever. So we need immediate evacuation if possible. Please help us if you can. Thank you,” he added.
The Indian embassy in Kyiv stopped operations and the Ambassador and the staff left for the western part of the country, sources said on Tuesday, with the government claiming that no Indians were left in the city.
After days of advising students and others to move to the western borders, a process that has been extremely challenging given the security situation, India on Tuesday issued an urgent call to leave the capital city by all means on Tuesday.
The country said it will operate 26 flights over the next three days to bring back citizens who have moved from Ukraine to neighbouring countries.
There were an estimated 20,000 Indians in Ukraine when the government issued its first advisory.