New Delhi: India is set to wind up on Thursday its evacuation mission ‘Operation Ganga’ which was launched 12 days ago to bring back Indian nationals following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Over 17,000 Indians, mostly students, have been evacuated so far under the mission.

The last flight is scheduled for Thursday evening, people familiar with the development said.

India is winding up Operation Ganga as the evacuation of almost all the stranded Indians in Ukraine would be completed by Thursday, the people said, adding the Indian mission will still continue to look for people who may have stayed back in some isolated pockets.

India has been bringing back its nationals from Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova after they crossed over to these countries from Ukraine through land border transit points.

Ukraine had closed its airspace for civilian aircraft after Russia began the military operation.

“Nearly 8,000 Indians evacuated through Romania. The last special flight will depart from Bucharest today. We express our gratitude to government and people of Romania for their help. Long live India-Romania friendship!,” the Indian embassy in Romania tweeted.

Around 600 Indian students, who were pulled out of war-torn Sumy city on Tuesday, are set to be brought back home on Thursday.

The people cited above said the mortal remains of an Indian who died of natural causes are being brought back.

Asked about reports that some Indians have submitted applications volunteering to join the International Legion created to fight Russian forces in Ukraine, the people only referred to the advisory by the Indian embassy in Kyiv asking the Indian nationals to leave that country immediately.

“It (advisory) should be applicable to anybody,” said one of the persons.

The people also said that India would like its embassy in Ukraine to function as long as possible, but added that most of its officials may be based in the office set up in Lviv.

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