Students recall Ukraine escape

Security forces at the Ukrainian border are implementing a 5:15 ratio for Indian students and Ukraine nationals to cross the border

HYDERABAD: It has been an ordeal for Telugu students who are stranded in Ukraine ever since Russia invaded a week ago. While students living in western Ukraine are shifting quickly to the border areas, those who are living in eastern city of Kyiv, capital, have a tough time leaving as the Russian armed forces are continuously shelling the area.

Those who reached Ukraine’s western orders will leave via neighbouring countries like Poland, Romania and Hungary but also Moldiva and Georgia. However, security forces at the Ukrainian border are implementing a 5:15 ratio for Indian students and Ukraine nationals to cross the border.

Rohith Chouhan, a Hyderabad MBBS first term student in Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University located at Ivano in Ukraine, told this newspaper that he crossed the border to Romania after facing difficulties. He is still waiting in Romania even though his roommates and friends who crossed the border earlier have reached their native places in Khammam.

"It was really a rebirth for us, crossing the border. There was discrimination against Indian students by the security forces. We stayed in western Ukraine and faced tough times. In eastern Ukraine, students are now unable to leave their places. The Indian embassy has stopped functioning from Kyiv after the Russian armed forces intensified their war and continuously bombed the area. Today, there was a major bombing of Kyiv," said Chouhan.

He said the Romanian government had provided accommodation to some students including Telugus at the capital Bucharest. "It was a basketball court and the local authorities provided us with beds and food. It was a great relief to me after crossing the border, facing all kinds of difficulties. We received information that the authorities from India arranged special flights and within two days I will be reaching Hyderabad," Rohit Chouhan said.

Dhanu, MBBS student at the Bogomolets National Medical University, said they reached Hungary's capital city of Budapest after crossing the border. The railway in Ukraine was impacted badly while going to border as the tracks were damaged due to bombing by Russian armed forces, Dhanu said.

“When we crossed the border, there was no authorised person from the Indian embassy, our consultancy and the university management. We dared to come out and reached the border,” she said.

Pravan Hyderabad from Ukraine and was on way to his native place in Khammam. He said the security forces at the border had implemented a 5: 15 ratio of Indian students and Ukraine nationals to cross the border. "My friends and I have faced sleepless nights at the border for four days and I finally managed to cross the border. Some of my friends are still stranded in Kyiv and some others have crossed the border to Romania.”

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