New Delhi: In a distress call, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine has directed all stranded citizens to leave the second most populous city, Kharkiv under all circumstances by 6 p.m. (Ukrainian time, IST 9.30 p.m.) on Wednesday March 2.
The embassy stated: “Urgent advisory to all Indian nationals in Kharkiv. For their safety and security they must leave Kharkiv immediately. Proceed to Pesochin, Babaye and Bezlyudovka as soon as possible.”
It reiterated, “Under all circumstances they must reach these settlements by 1800 hours (Ukrainian time) today.”
Kharkiv, a largely Russian-speaking city near the Russian border, has a population of around 1.4 million. It has been found that Russian troops have landed in Kharkiv and are engaged in heavy fighting with Ukrainian forces.
Russia shelled Kharkiv damaging various installations.
Further, videos are circulating online of an apparent attack on the regional police and intelligence headquarters in Kharkiv.
“Practically there are no areas left in Kharkiv where an artillery shell has not yet hit,” Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, said in a statement posted on Telegram.
However, Russia says it is only targeting Ukraine’s military infrastructure, air defence and air forces with high-precision weapons.
It was in Kharkiv where an Indian student was killed on Tuesday morning in shelling. Naveen Shekharappa Gyanagoudar, a 21-year-old medical student from Karnataka, was standing in the queue for food in Kharkiv on Tuesday morning when he was killed.
Naveen was a final year medical student at the Kharkiv National Medical University. He was from Karnataka’s Haveri and lived near a prominent government building that was blown up by Russian soldiers.
The war between two countries has entered into the sixth day after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for military operation.