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Ukraine conflict: Monitoring evacuation of foreign nationals from Ukraine

An Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster at Hindon Air Force station in Ghaziabad, India, on 3 March 2022. The aircraft carried 200 Indians, mostly students, who were stranded in Ukraine. This was the first evacuation flight to reach India from Romania. (Amarjeet Kumar Singh/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Ukraine has a large student population from countries such as China, India, Nigeria, Philippines, and Thailand. India had 20,000 nationals in Ukraine at the time of the Russian invasion on 24 February, according to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). A Straits Times article on 26 February reported that China had 6,000 nationals in Ukrainian cities including Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Odessa, and Sumy. Thailand had 250 nationals, Indonesia had 138, and the Philippines had 350 nationals in Ukraine.

Foreign nationals who have not been able to leave Ukraine, continue to post videos on social media urging their respective governments to help them evacuate. In the second round of negotiations held in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Belarus, on 3 March, Russia and Ukraine agreed to create a humanitarian corridor to facilitate the evacuation of civilians.

Evacuation activities

Poland, Moldova, and Romania are the three main points of entry for Ukrainian refugees and foreign nationals seeking repatriation from Ukraine.

India launched ‘Operation Ganga' on 27 February to evacuate its nationals. According to the MEA, 12,000 Indian nationals left Ukraine as of 1 March, and the ministry was co-ordinating with Indian embassies in Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Slovakia to evacuate the remaining 40% of Indian nationals in Ukraine.

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