The Indian Air
Force (IAF), on Tuesday, was pressed into rescue efforts for Indians stranded in
war-hit Ukraine. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on the nation’s air
force to run evacuation efforts, reports PTI quoting sources, on the same day the
Indian embassy in Ukraine called upon nationals to evacuate Kyiv.

The IAF is expected
to deploy several C-17 flights as part of ‘Operation Ganga’ from Tuesday. Until
now, private airlines led by Air India, a state-owned airlines company recently
sold to the Tata Group, was running evacuation ops. Indians were being airlifted
from Romania and Hungary, countries sharing land borders with Ukraine on the
western side, since Ukraine closed its airspace on February 24.

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Nearly 18,000
Indian students were studying in Ukraine at the time tensions between Russia
and Ukraine flared. As of February 26, there were around 14,000 Indians
stranded in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the
Indian embassy in Ukraine, urged its citizen to leave capital Kyiv by trains or
any other means possible. Kyiv has been at the centre of Russia’s aggression
with shelling being reported from various corners of the centuries-old city.

sincerely request all Indian nationals/students to remain calm, peaceful and
united. A large crowd can be expected at the railway stations, therefore, it is
advised that all Indian students remain patient, composed and especially not to
exhibit aggressive behaviour while at the railway station,” the advisory

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The advisory comes
as Ukrainian authorities call upon residents to check for suspicious symbols on
buildings which may be indications of an impending air strike.

authorities are appealing to residents of multi-storey buildings that have
access to the roof, asking to urgently check the roofs for the availability of
tags. In case any marks are detected – please put them to sleep with the ground
or something to cover,” the Twitter handle for the City of Kyiv posted.

authorities say the symbols have been left by suspicious characters who are
leaving clues for Russians, presumably for an airstrike.