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International Relations

India maintained a studied silence on the developing Ukraine situation on Saturday even as western powers called for evacuation of their citizens from various locations in the country. The Hindu has, however, learned that the Embassy of India in Kyiv has been contacting Indian citizens based in Ukraine and collecting information of those who may require evacuation in case a conflict flares up between Russia and Ukraine.

“Three weeks back, the Indian Embassy in Kyiv began to contact us on email and sent us a form to be filled up. The form contains details like our location in Ukraine, and other relevant information which may be used in case a quick mobilisation of Indian citizens in Ukraine is required,” said Shivam Dubey who is studying medicine in Ternopil.

Ternopil, located in the western Ukraine, is far from the eastern hotspot of Donbas where largescale mobilisation of military personnel has taken place on the Russian side. Western officials have been maintaining that Russia has encircled Ukraine both from the east, north and the Black Sea coast. Russia and Belarus have been conducting a military exercise in the north of Ukraine.

The U.S. and the UK have asked citizens to leave Ukraine at the earliest, maintaining that an invasion from Russia is imminent. Mr. Dubey, however, said there is no sense of panic among the people of Ukraine regarding such an invasion as of now. The Ministry of External Affairs did not respond to The Hindu’ s questions on whether India planned a similar move. Ukrainian diplomatic sources have called for calm and indicated that media reports and talks of a possible invasion by Russia are exaggerated.

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