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India leads by example in bringing citizens home

India has been one of the most active countries in evacuating its citizens from Ukraine amid the ongoing war with Russia. On Monday, government sources said four Union ministers, including Hardeep Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and VK Singh, will visit countries neighboring Ukraine to help coordinate the evacuation process.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also constantly reviewing the situation. He led two high-level meetings over two days for better evacuation of Indians stuck in war-torn Ukraine. Five Air India flights have already brought back a number of citizens, and more flights are on the way as India has launched its ‘Op Ganga’ rescue operation to help those stranded in the country. SpiceJet will also operate a special flight to the Hungarian capital Budapest on Friday to evacuate Indians in Ukraine.

Here is a list of efforts by other countries to bring their citizens back as Russia clashes with Ukraine.


On February 24, China announced charter flights for its nationals stranded in Ukraine and asked its citizens leaving Kyiv to display identifying signs, such as the Chinese flag. Two days later, the Chinese Embassy urged its citizens to “refrain…from displaying identifying signs”. However, on February 27, current conditions in the east of the country were too dangerous to evacuate citizens. In a video message, the Chinese ambassador to Ukraine dispelled rumors that he had left Kyiv and reassured Chinese nationals stranded in the war-torn country. China has issued no travel advisories and support mechanisms, while India has issued contact numbers, advisories and support mechanisms.

United States

While Operation Ganga in India is in full swing, the US has explicitly stated that “the US government will not be able to evacuate US citizens from Ukraine”. A notice urged US citizens in Ukraine to leave now using available private transportation options if it is safe to do so. It appears that no specific evacuation effort has been undertaken by the US government to bring its nationals back from Ukraine. However, private groups have come to the rescue of American nationals stranded in Ukraine to continue evacuation processes. Last week, however, the US Embassy posted an online form, local (Ukraine) and international (US-based) phone numbers for communication. The United States encouraged its citizens to sign up for STEP registration for security updates and easy communication in an emergency. .


The UK said that “Russia’s military action in Ukraine will seriously affect the UK government’s ability to provide consular assistance in Ukraine. UK nationals should not expect increased consular support or evacuation assistance in these circumstances. The embassy office in Kyiv has temporarily moved. Embassy staff operate from the British Embassy office in Lviv. The in-person consular services that the British Embassy office in Lviv can provide are extremely limited. The Indian Embassy, ​​on the other hand, is still functional. Britain has asked its nationals to follow the advice of the Ukrainian authorities without additional help.


The German government has said that “German nationals are urged to leave the country urgently. An evacuation by the German authorities is currently not possible. Germany also temporarily closed its embassy in Kiev, but issued a crisis hotline from the Federal Foreign Office on +49 (0) 30 / 5000 3000.


The leader of the Egyptian community in Ukraine, Ali Farouk, said last week that Ukrainian authorities and the Egyptian embassy were coordinating the return of Egyptian students. Egyptian students stranded in Ukraine have asked the embassy to help them evacuate, while some students have taken matters into their own hands and crossed the Polish border, hoping to return home.


Like India, the Moroccan Embassy continues to closely monitor the evacuation process. The embassy has ordered Moroccans in Ukraine to head to the nearest land crossing points connecting Ukraine and Poland, Romania, Slovakia or Hungary. The government provided Moroccans with free phone numbers to facilitate the evacuation process. Several Moroccans are currently heading for crossing points between Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary on their own.


The Nigerian government said it had “surprisingly received” reports of the Russian invasion and once the airports opened it would help people. Nigerian students felt that the message they were largely receiving from the government was that they were “on their own”.


80,000 international students study in Ukraine, according to data from the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science. The largest number come from India, followed by Morocco, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Nigeria.

India’s evacuation program, Operation Ganga, has been the most active of all nations that have their citizens in Ukraine. Prime Minister Modi also chaired a meeting on the Ukraine crisis on Sunday. It was decided at the meeting to further enhance cooperation with neighboring countries of Ukraine to expedite the evacuation of Indian students, sources said.

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