Air India flight carrying 182 Indian nationals from Ukraine lands in Mumbai


An Air India flight carrying 182 Indian nationals from Ukraine - evacuated via Romanian capital Bucharest - landed in Mumbai this morning, an airline spokesperson said. The flight touched down at the Mumbai airport at 7.40 am after a stop at Kuwait, and is the second Bucharest-Mumbai repatriation flight to be operated by the government in the past 72 hours. This and all other evacuation flights are part of 'Operation Ganga' to bring back Indians stranded in Ukraine after Russian forces invaded the eastern European country last week, leading to fears over a major military conflict in Europe that will affect the rest of the world. India is operating evacuation flights from countries bordering Ukraine - Romania, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - after Ukrainian airspace was shut due to Russian aerial forces.

Also on Monday a new land route was opened for evacuation - via Moldova. Foreign Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted this morning to say that another 'Operation Ganga' flight - the ninth so far - had left from Bucharest with 218 people on board. On Monday the government said around 8,000 Indians have been brought back so far. Initial reports said there were nearly 20,000 nationals - many students - in Ukraine when war hit. More flights will be operated to return all Indians, the government has said, while also issuing an advisory for nationals looking to leave Ukraine.

"We request Indians to go to west Ukraine, but don't reach border directly as there's a rush. Go to nearby cities, seek shelter. We're making arrangements there... Don't panic, we have enough flights," the government said.

India has also agreed to send humanitarian aid, including medicines, to Ukraine, but has stopped short of calling out Russia for the attack.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to his Slovakian and Romanian counterparts to discuss the evacuation of Indian nationals from Ukraineand to thank them for the assistance provided by both countries for this process.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)