India urges ceasefire in Ukrainian city to evacuate students


India urged Ukraine and Russia on Friday to impose a ceasefire in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy to help evacuate hundreds of Indian students trapped there amid worsening conflict.

Around 700 Indian students have been unable to leave Sumy because of fighting in the area, foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters.

"We want a safe route for our students," Bagchi said, "We are looking at all options."

Russia and Ukraine agreed on Thursday to the need for humanitarian corridors to help civilians escape Moscow's eight-day-old invasion.

A group of around 1,000 students who had fled northeastern Ukraine's Kharkiv, where one Indian medical student was killed this week, were being moved by bus towards the country's western borders, Bagchi said.

Some 300 Indian students still remained in the heavily-bombed city, he said.

Before the conflict flared, Indians made up around a quarter of the 76,000 foreign students in Ukraine, the largest number from any overseas country.

More than 10,000 Indian nationals have already been flown back to India, with another 16 evacuation flights scheduled in the next 24 hours, Bagchi said.

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