war in ukraine
Amid the war in Ukraine, an advisory by the Embassy of India in Kyiv advised Indian nationals and students in Ukraine to make their way to the railway station "for onward journey to the western parts". Source: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP

Indian students stranded in Ukraine are desperate for help and are using the #SaveIndiansInUkraine hashtag to call for swift action from the authorities. Before the war in Ukraine, Indian students were uncertain if they should stay or leave the country.

Families of Indian students in Ukraine have claimed that answers from the Indian embassy came too late. Data from India’s foreign ministry notes that there are over 16,000 Indian students stranded in Ukraine.

Many are reportedly staying in abysmal living conditions while waiting to evacuate through neighbouring countries like Poland and Romania. Twitter user Ayush posted a video showing people allegedly being beaten up at the border of Ukraine and Romania.

War in Ukraine: Students reportedly low on supplies

Sheikh Abrar, a 22-year-old Indian medical student told CNN that supplies — including food and water — are running low, leaving him and about 400 others with him desperate for help.

India’s foreign ministry said an Indian student was killed in shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, reported Al Jazeera, making him the first Indian casualty of the war in Ukraine. Quoting a Ukrainian official, the report said Russian forces are firing artillery and laying siege to Kharkiv and other major cities.

“He lived near the governor’s house and had been standing in the queue for food. Suddenly there was an airstrike that blew up the governor’s house and he was killed,” Pooja Praharaj, a student coordinator in Kharkiv, told NDTV.

An advisory by the Embassy of India in Kyiv on Feb. 28, 2022 asked all Indian nationals and students in Ukraine to “make their way to the railway station for onward journey to the western parts. Ukraine Railways is putting special trains for evacuations.”

They add: “A large crowd can be expected at the railway stations, therefore, it is advised that all Indian students remain patient, composed and especially not to exhibit aggressive behaviours while at the railway stations.”