Six Air India flights have evacuated about 1400 Indian citizens from Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, the ministry of external affairs said on Monday. The spokesperson said that the situation on ground continues to be complex. 

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“Evacuation efforts on. Situation on ground continues to be complex and fluid, some of them quite concerning, but we’ve been able to accelerate our evacuation process. About 8000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine since we issued advisory, not since conflict began,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. 

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“As of now, six flights have arrived carrying around 1400 Indian citizens. Four flights have arrived from Bucharest (Romania) and two flights from Budapest (Hungary),” he added. 

A total of 1,396 Indians were brought back home in six flights as part of the evacuation mission. India is also sending humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, he added. 

The Russian attack on Ukraine began four days ago. India started issuing advisories in mid-February, asking Indians to consider leaving Ukraine after tensions increased between Moscow and Kyiv.

India is sending four Union ministers as the prime minister’s envoys to Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova to oversee the evacuation of Indians from Ukraine. 

Bagchi said Union minister Hardeep Puri will go to Hungary, Jyotiraditya Scindia will oversee the evacuation process in Romania and Moldova, Kiren Rijiju will travel to Slovakia and Gen. (retd) V K Singh is leaving for Poland.

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“The special envoys will go to these countries to basically coordinate and oversee the evacuation process there on the ground,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry revised the international travel advisory, providing several exemptions for Indians being evacuated from Ukraine.

Citizens coming back to India amid Russia’s invasion will no longer have to submit a pre-boarding negative RTPCR test and COVID-19 vaccination certificate, the ministry’s press release said. They are also not required to upload documents before departure on Air-Suvidha Portal.