Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi today for rescuing her country’s nationals as part of ‘Operation Ganga,’ which also included stranded Indian nationals being evacuated from war-torn Ukraine.
So far, India’s special flights have evacuated nine Bangladeshis from Ukraine, as well as many Nepalese and Tunisian students, as part of its ‘Operation Ganga’ evacuation effort. Indian officials also rescued a Pakistani national, who is now en route to western Ukraine for further evacuation out of the country.
Since late February, India has been attempting to evacuate its citizens, mostly students, from Ukraine, but has run into difficulties in the east, particularly in the northeastern city of Sumy, where nearly 700 Indian students have been stranded and have been unable to leave despite repeated attempts.
Following several rounds of Russia-Ukraine talks, a failed Sumy evacuation attempt on Monday, and a call from Prime Minister Modi to Russia and Ukraine’s leaders, Russia finally declared a cease-fire on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. India time to conduct a “humanitarian operation.” According to the centre, the Russian embassy in India issued a list of “humanitarian corridors” that it is willing to supply, and all 694 Indians stranded in Sumy were able to escape Ukraine.
Since February 22, almost 18,000 Indians have been transported back from Ukraine via special planes. The war in Ukraine began on February 24, when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of its former Soviet neighbour, after which many Ukrainian cities have been subjected to near-constant bombardment.