Sat, 30 Sep 2023

Siret (Romania), March 4 (ANI): Thousands of people have fled conflict-ridden Ukraine and crossed over to Romania's Siret in the past few days amid Russia's ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

Volunteers, charity organisations and Romanian firefighters are providing immediate relief to them at the border-- including food, mobile phone sim cards and free transportation to various cities in Romania.

A total of 5,245 Indian nationals were airlifted from Romania to India till March 3 amid Russia's military operations in Ukraine, informed the Government of India on Friday.

In north Romania's Siret border, mostly women with small children, elderly people, some with their pets and luggage were seen.

In the Siret border, there are camps from various charity organisations that are working 24x7 to provide support to these refugees escaping war. There is everything from blankets to tents to hot food to anything one can need on a daily basis. There are feeding bottles for babies as well. The warmth that's showered on these refugees whether through the relief camps or through the willingness to help by volunteers is an incredible thing to experience. The weather conditions are extreme. There is snow everywhere and it's freezing. But the warmth of the volunteers is keeping it going even in these hard situations.

One of the volunteers at the Red Cross said, "There are huge numbers of Indians coming in. Last night almost 800 Indians crossed over and today morning 450, camps are being arranged to accommodate them so they can rest and have something to eat."Some camps even have arranged special vegetarian food for Indians. "Indians were refusing to accept food containing meat and since then veg food is also being served", informed a volunteer from Siret.

Raju, who has been in Romania for the last 20 years and is assisting the Indian embassy at Siret said, "Flight arrangement is a big relief. Now Indians don't have to wait for another two days. Romania govt providing everything round the clock- including food and sim cards for free."Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine's breakaway regions - Donetsk and Luhansk - as independent entities. Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia's military operations in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Moscow.

The Indian embassy in Romania on Friday issued a hotline number for Indians who have been evacuated from Ukraine and are still in Romania.

"40 725964976 is the 24x7 hotline number for any Indians evacuated from Ukraine and still in Romania. Please call for any assistance required," the embassy said in a Tweet.

Meanwhile, three more Indian Air Force's C-17 aircraft returned to the Hindan airbase late last night and early morning today carrying 630 Indian nationals from Ukraine, using airfields in Romania and Hungary under Operation Ganga. (ANI)

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