People hide from the Russian artillery shelling in a school basement in the village of Horenka close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, March 6, 2022. (AP Photo)
Visakhapatnam: On the eleventh day since the Russian military attack on Ukraine on February 24, some 700-plus medical students from India are still holed up in the troubled Sumy province.
Almost all Indian nationals have safely reached the borders, for exit and onward journey to their homes, from different parts of the war-torn nation.
Deccan Chronicle spoke to some students stuck in Sumy by phone on Sunday.
Student Shivangi Shibu said the 700 plus Indian students in Sumy were stuck there since February 24. They faced power disruption for the past few days due to the Russian shellings and blast of a power station. They also faced food and water supply disruption.
"Getting a nod for opening green corridors, from both sides, is important for our safe passage from the Russian border, which is nearly 50km away. We are waiting for word from the Indian government," Shibu told DC from Sumy this evening.
Her fellow Indian, Radhika Sangwan, said some people were criticising the students for not leaving Ukraine even after advisories were given out by the Embassy.
"Advisories are useful for Indians whose stay is not essential. We are students of the 6th year. We were expecting to receive our degrees in another three months. We have a major exam coming up. In Ukraine, it is essential to maintain 100 per cent attendance. We will not be allowed to write exams if we skip classes. That’s why we opted to stay on," Radhika said.
Radhika said electricity was available on Sunday evening but there was no water supply. Their contractor was providing drinking water through tanks, but that was not enough to cook, wash utensils, bathe and use the washroom.
Nearly 1,700 foreigners including Indians and Nigerians were stuck in the hostels of the state medical university at Sumy. They were afraid of coming out of their hostels and bunkers due to the continuous shelling.
Narrating their experience, a student said that at 7 pm on March 2, there were huge explosions near the international students’ hostel. "Everyone is frightened, anxious. No light, no water and no way to contact our family. Our minds were blank. We immediately rushed to the bunkers," he said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine said 44 Indians, who began their trip from Pisochyn, were on their way to the Polish border from Lviv on Sunday. Another group of 150 plus students was on their way to the Romanian border. A total of 2,135 Indian nationals were evacuated on Sunday, the grand total numbering 16,000 by now.