Facing Ukrainian ire after India’s UN move: Students

Feb 28, 2022

Even as the Indian government ramped up its evacuation efforts and the foreign secretary called the Ukrainian ambassador to emphasise India’s concern for citizens trapped in the war zone, several medical students alleged that they were harassed at checkpoints on Ukraine‘s border with Poland. The students said they were kept in an almost hostage-like situation in the freezing cold and denied food, water, shelter or safe passage. They claimed that the border guards were abusing them because of India abstaining on a UNSC resolution against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The students shared videos of soldiers firing warning shots and using force to disperse them. In another clip, a Ukrainian guard was seen shoving away an Indian girl who fell on his feet and begged him to allow her to make the border crossing. Several students said Ukrainian residents have also turned hostile against them.

The war in Ukraine has sent Indian students studying in various universities there on a headlong flight to safety, but thousands of them have been left stranded on the border with Poland. They fled by train, car or bus, while some walked many miles through the night to reach the fenced-off border crossings, joining lines of tens of thousands of people desperate to escape the war.

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