New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said the pace of India’s evacuation operation from Ukraine is accelerating and about 1,000 Indians have left Kharkiv to nearby Pisochyn pursuant to its advisory a day ago.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing that the Indian side is in touch with both Ukrainian and Russian authorities to examine the modalities of how Indians can be evacuated from both Kharkiv and Sumy.

“We are closely following the developments in Kharkiv, Sumy and other cities in eastern Ukraine. As you know yesterday we issued an advisory for Indians in Kharkiv to leave the city by 6 PM local time. Pursuant to this a large number of students have left Kharkiv and are currently in the nearby issue of Pisochyn. We estimate this number to be around 1,000,” he said.

“We are currently looking at transportation options to move them from there to western Ukraine or southern Ukraine depending on the transportation options,” Bagchi said.

He said the pace of India’s evacuation operation is continuing to accelerate.

Fifteen flights landed in India during the last 24 hours, bringing back more than 3,000 Indians, he said.

Bagchi also informed that 18 flights have been scheduled for the next 24 hours to bring back Indian nationals from Ukraine.

A total of about 18,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine since our first advisory was released, he said.

India has been evacuating its citizens through special flights from Ukraine’s western neighbours such as Romania, Hungary and Poland as the Ukrainian airspace has been shut since February 24 due to the Russian military offensive.

Also read | Ukraine crisis: Over 7,400 Indians to be brought back this week

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