India issues safety advisory for stranded nationals in Ukraine

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India’s Defence Ministry has issued survival guidelines for Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine, especially Kharkiv, while warning them of aerial raids and drone attacks.

The ministry also told stranded Indian citizens to learn a few sentences in Russian language, such as telling people they were students from India.

“Here are the sentences in Russian: ‘Ya student iz Indii (I am a student from India)’, ‘Ya nekombatant (I am a non-combatant)’, ‘Pazhalusta Pamagite (please, help me)’,” the ministry said in advisory for Indian nationals in Ukraine’s Kharkiv about potentially dangerous and difficult situations to be expected.

This advisory, prepared by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, warns about aerial raids, missile attacks, artillery shelling, small arms and gunfire, grenade explosions and ‘Molotov cocktails’, including by local people/militia.

“Organise yourselves in small groups/squads of ten Indian students. Within that, organise a buddy/pair system and nominate a coordinator and a deputy coordinator in each group of ten persons,” said the advisory.

The ministry also told Indian nationals to make a Whatsapp group, compile details, names, address, mobile numbers and contacts in India and share geolocation on WhatsApp with control rooms in the Embassy or in New Delhi.

It asked them to update information every eight hours.

The advisory also stressed that they must avoid stepping out from their bunker, basement, or shelter at all times.

Source: IANS

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“Stay indoors, preferably in designated safe zones, basements, bunkers. If you find yourself in the streets, then walk on the sides of the roads, close to cover of buildings, crouch low to avoid being targeted, do not cross streets, avoid city centres, or downtown areas. Turn around street corners in urban areas with great caution,” it said.

Notably, the advisory asked nations to avoid crowded areas, refrain from commenting on social media, and avoid taking pictures of military vehicles, soldiers, and check posts.

“Do not try and film live combat situations. In the event of warning sirens, take immediate shelter wherever possible. If you are in the open, lie flat on your stomach and cover your head with your backpack,” it said.

“Avoid unstable/damaged buildings and be mindful of falling/flying debris. Stay away from glass windows to avoid injury from flying glass during explosions or gunfire,” it said.

Indians were asked to keep ready a small kit of essential items on persons or at hand round the clock, with the emergency kit containing passport, ID cards, essential medication/life-saving drugs, torch, matchbox, lighter, candles, cash, energy bars, power banks, water, first-aid kit, headgear, muffler, gloves, warm jacket and warm socks and a comfortable pair of shoes.

“Conserve and share food and water: avoid full meals, eat smaller portions to extend the rations. Stay hydrated. If you find yourself in an open area/field, melt snow to make water.

“If available, keep one large garbage bag per person to use as ground matting/cover against exposure to rain/ cold/storm/during forced march/evacuation.”

If injured or ill, intimate condition and seek advice from control room, helpline and WhatsApp group, the advisory said.

Indians were also asked then delete all unnecessary apps in mobile, limit conversations to low volume, and audio mode to conserve battery life.

Be ready to move under instructions at short notice, do not carry large bags to avoid slowing down, fatigue and crowding, the advisory said.

Source: IANS

It asked stranded Indians to “cooperate/obey” if stopped by armed personnel, “remain polite”, and contact the control room or helpful when possible without confrontation.

The advisory follows a Ministry of Civil Aviation statement that over 7,400 Indian nationals are expected to be evacuated under the ‘Operation Ganga’ in the next two days. A total of 17 flights are expected to land in India today -15 in New Delhi and 2 in Mumbai.


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