The last few days have been harrowing for Ukraine and the world. The conflict has refused to die down, and students from various nations have become one of the prime sufferers. None of the people sitting in the different countries knows what impact war has on their minds.
The Indian students who have returned and the ones on their way have experienced nightmares of exiting the region. Many have shared stories and accounts of their difficulties with the Ukrainian officials, the Russian army and many more. They're reaching out to people through social media platforms and making SOS calls.
Beaten By Ukrainian Police
Three students who recently returned to India informed that the Ukrainian police and military brutally beat them up at the railway station while trying to get out of Kharkiv.
Officials Drunk, Asked For Bribes
The students informed that the police allowed Ukrainians and other nationals on a priority basis, but not Indians. After hours of struggles, they allowed women to board the train and asked for bribes. Most of them were under the influence of alcohol.
"200 dollars for each person if you want a ticket. At night we stayed on the platform. They said if you want to stay the night, you have to pay. And they were so drunk, and they misbehaved," NDTV quoted one of the students.
Turned Back From Stations, Thrown Out
Many have also alleged that they were turned back from trains and threatened by police for attempting to leave. The border guards allegedly beat them up in their efforts to cross the border.
The students questioned the timing of the Indian embassy's advisory to leave Kharkiv. The officials had issued an urgent advisory on March 2 for the students living or stranded in the city to evacuate the region within four hours. Many said that the destinations mentioned in the letter were at a distance and reaching in less than four hours was challenging.
They said that advisory should have been issued earlier, given that the ground reality is different from what is projected. They had a hard time getting out of the region, and once they reached the station, they faced harassment by the police.
Last week, students stranded in Kyiv were being thrown out of trains when they went to a station for evacuation under the instructions of the Indian embassy. The ones who managed to board were attacked with sticks and physically thrown off.
Asked To Join Army
Recalling the nightmares, a student Kolkata resident Hamza Kabir told The Print that a Russian soldier had asked him to join them while they were on their way to exit Uzhhorod.
"As we started leaving the country, gunmen walked up to us and asked why we were leaving the country- Why is India doing this? Why don't you join us and fight? " Kabir narrated.
Sold Devices For A Seat
The gravity of the situation can be understood from the fact that a student had to sell his iPad to get a seat on the train to leave Ukraine. Reportedly, the student sold his iPad to pay Rs 15,000 (6000 UAH) for a seat on the train.
Assaulted At Borders
Several students made videos of the harassment they were subjected to. In a clip that's been widely circulated on social media, a student wheeling his suitcase behind him was seen being kicked by a guard in uniform. However, it is yet to ascertain if the student is an Indian or not. But several who were camping at the Poland-Ukraine border alleged harassment.
Women Pulled By Hair
A student, Mansi Chaudhary, told the media that the situation worsened day by day. She alleged torture to women students by the guards, pulling them by the hair and hitting them with rods.
Also Read: Students Returning From Ukraine To Continue Studies Through Online Classes, Karnataka Govt Mulls