Amidst the Ukraine-Russia war, IAF has airlifted 2263 passengers from airfields in Poland, Romania, and Slovakia under the operation Ganga.
Amidst all the processes of bringing Indian students from Ukraine, a claim under the name of the Indian government is viral on social media. It is being claimed that Russia had agreed to a ceasefire and gave 6 hours window to Indians to evacuate the stranded Indians from the Kharkiv safely.
BJP Maharashtra officials Twitter shared a post with Marathi caption on 03 March 2020, which in English reads, "This is the new India! Russia stopped fighting for 6 hours to get Indians out of Ukraine safely. Prime Minister Shri. This was @narendramodi possible when he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian Air Force aircraft and military vehicles announced the evacuation."
News18 anchor Amish Devgan also shared the viral claim. He wrote, "India Today managed to STOP WAR for 6hrs in Kharkiv to get there students rescued. Power Of New India 🇮🇳. Gang will be all out with NegativeAgenda but just give it a thought. Jai Hind."
Russia stopped the war for 6 hours to allow the evacuation of Indian nationals from Kharkiv.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false. The Ministry of External Affairs denied the viral claim.
During the initial investigation, we searched for the official statement of the Foreign Ministry on this matter. We found a video report of DD News dated 03 March 2022, in which the Foreign Ministry spokesperson denied reports that Russia had halted the war for six hours to allow Indians to leave Kharkiv. During a press conference, at 20:21 second of timestamp, Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson of MEA, said, "We got specific inputs that this is a route that is available... we conveyed that to our citizens, and I am happy that many could make it....not in the best of circumstances perhaps because I think there were incident of violence, but this is a war zone...Extrapolating that to say that somebody is holding a bombing or that this is something we are coordinating, that I think is absolutely inaccurate. I don't think If I could be more facetious, then it will extrapolate itself. It will be the same thing whether the bombing started again on our request." Below you can see the video.
He further said that we are in touch with the authorities of Ukraine and Russia to evacuate Indians from Kharkiv and Sumy. Despite our advice, we estimate that a few hundred Indians are still in Kharkiv. He also said that about 18,000 Indians have left the war-torn country since Russia attacked Ukraine. "A total of 18,000 Indian nationals have left the Ukrainian border since our first advisory was issued. 30 flights have so far brought back 6,400 Indians from Ukraine under Operation Ganga".
We then searched for reports mentioning the evacuation of citizens. According to a report of Economic Times dated 08 March 2022, Russia planned to open humanitarian corridors in Ukraine on Tuesday to allow civilians to exit siege cities. However, Ukraine said that this initiative is a promotional act and that no one would be able to escape. The offer by Moscow to evacuate people was rejected because the majority of the routes were headed into Russia or its ally Belarus, and the invading forces continued their brutal bombardment assault.
Indian Embassy in Russia tweeted today, "In order to conduct a humanitarian operation from 12.30 IST on 08 March, 2022, Russia declares ceasefire and is ready to provide humanitarian corridors."
It is to be noted that nowhere it is mentioned that Russia stopped the war for 6 hours on India's request before. It is evident from our investigation and the statement of MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi that the claim of Russia stopping war for six hours to allow evacuation of Indian citizens from Ukraine is false.
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