India evacuates 1,000 nationals from Ukraine city

June 3, 2014 10:12 am
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Pro-Russia militants shoot from a residential building at border guards defending the Federal Border Headquarters building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on June 2, 2014/AFP
Pro-Russia militants shoot from a residential building at border guards defending the Federal Border Headquarters building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on June 2, 2014/AFP

, NEW DELHI, June 3- India is making arrangements to evacuate close to 1,000 nationals, mostly students, from Ukraine’s violence hit Lugansk region, an official said Tuesday.

“There are around 1,000 nationals, mostly medical students who are being evacuated,” foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told AFP.

India’s embassy in the Ukraine posted an urgent notice for nationals on Monday, informing them of 500 train tickets available on Tuesday and again on Wednesday to enable them to leave Lugansk city for the capital Kiev.

The notice also posted emergency numbers for the nationals to contact if required.

Violence has escalated in the last few days, with gun battles between pro Russian rebels and Ukraine forces seeking to gain control of the restive region.

The evacuation arrangements were made in cooperation with the Ukraine government, the Press Trust of India news agency reported, quoting unnamed sources.

Many Indian nationals, mostly young students, who fail to get into the country’s top engineering and medical institutions often move to Russia and neighbouring countries including the Ukraine to pursue their studies.

“Since 1957, Indian students were studying in Ukrainian universities,” the Ukraine embassy in New Delhi said on its website.

“In 2012-2013 academic year, 3,839 Indian citizens received higher education in Ukraine, mainly in the field of medical studies,” it said.

The seven week pro Russian insurgency in Ukraine’s eastern rust belt has grown more violent after president elect Petro Poroshenko swept to power in a May 25 ballot.

Poroshenko has promised to quickly end fighting and save the nation of 46 million from economic collapse.

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