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Indian Embassy in Ukraine temporarily shifted to Poland

The decision was taken 'in view of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Ukraine'
Last Updated : 14 March 2022, 02:26 IST

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With Russia expanding its offensives against Ukraine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in New Delhi on Sunday decided to shift its embassy from the capital of the East European nation to neighbouring Poland.

The Prime Minister, who chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Security, was briefed about Russia’s continued military operations in Ukraine. Soon after the meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made public its decision that the Embassy of India in Kyiv would be temporarily relocated to Poland. The decision was taken “in view of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Ukraine, including attacks in the western parts of the country,” the MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated.

New Delhi apparently decided to relocate the embassy from Ukraine to Poland after Russia fired over 30 cruise missiles targeting a military training facility at Yavoriv close in western Ukraine – just 25 kilometres from Ukraine-Poland border. Russia so far limited its attacks in eastern Ukraine. It, however, started targeting western region of Ukraine, apparently to stop the flow of weapons into the country through Poland.

The military facility Russia targeted in western Ukraine was just about 60 kilometres away from Lviv, where the Embassy of India in Kyiv had set up a camp office.

Just a few days after President Vladimir Putin had ordered Russia’s armed forces to launch special military operations in Ukraine, New Delhi’s envoy to Kyiv, Partha Satpathy, and a number of the diplomats and consular officials of the Embassy of India in the capital of the East European nation had shifted to Lviv on the country’s western border with Poland.

India, however, had not completely shut down its embassy in the capital of Ukraine.

The officials, who remained at the embassy in Kyiv, as well as the ones in its camp office in Lviv worked in tandem to implement the “Operation Ganga” – the mission India had launched to evacuate its citizens from Ukraine.

The 'Operation Ganga' almost came to its end last Friday, with over 18000 Indians being evacuated from Ukraine in a fortnight, including from Kharkiv, Sumy and other areas in the war-torn eastern region of the country. They were flown back home from Poland, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Romania by aircraft deployed by the Government of India.

The United States had relocated its embassy in Kyiv to Lviv soon after Russia started its military operations in Ukraine. It had on February 21 announced that its diplomatic staff would stay in Poland but would keep visiting Ukraine across the border to help evacuate its citizens.

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Published 13 March 2022, 10:51 IST

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