President of Russia Vladimir Putin has shared negotiations with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the urgent evacuation of Indian students stranded in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, the Kremlin said.
In their video call on Wednesday, Putin said he had ordered Russian troops to ensure the safe evacuation of Indian nationals from the armed conflict zone and their return to their homeland,” as per the statement of Kremlin.
It further added that, “Russia was trying to manage the emergency evacuation of Indian students from Kharkiv via a humanitarian corridor.”
On Wednesday, the Ukrainian authorities have said Russian paratroopers had landed in the eastern city, and that there was fighting in the streets.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Russia’s defence ministry said the Ukrainian authorities were holding a group of Indian students by force.
Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said, “They have practically been taken hostage.”
But as per the Indian media on Thursday, New Delhi has denied any reports of its students being held as hostages in Ukraine. Indian foreign ministry said it is in constant touch with Indian nationals in Ukraine, reports said.
As per the spokesperson of the Indian foreign ministry, Arindam Bagchi, “We have not received reports of any hostage situation of any student. We have also requested for the support of the Ukrainian authorities in managing special trains for evacuating out students from Kharkiv and neighbouring areas to the western parts of the nation.”
Russian defence ministry spokesperson Konashenkov told Ukraine was offering to evacuate the Indian students through the western borders with Poland, which, he added, would mean that they would be passing via combat zones.
“The Russian armed forces are ready to take all required options for the safe evacuation of Indian nationals” so they can be taken back to home from Russia, he added.