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India Asks People To Avoid All Non-Essential Travel To Ukraine As War Escalates

As Russia steps up the war with continuous strikes on civilians, India has advised Indians to avoid non-essential travel to and within Ukraine.

Indian nationals are advised to avoid non-essential travel to Ukraine (Representative photo)
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India on Monday asked Indians to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine as war in the country escalates with mounting civilian deaths. 

Russia on Monday carried out a barrage of missile strikes across Ukraine, resulting in at least 10 deaths. The Monday's strikes raise the last 10 days' death toll in Ukraine to at least 76.

Besides avoiding all non-essential travel, India also asked Indians to strictly follow the safety and security guidelines issued by the local authorities.

The Embassy of India in Ukraine said, "In view of the current escalation of hostilities in Ukraine, Indian nationals are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine. They must strictly follow the safety and security guidelines issued by the Ukrainian government and local authorities.

"Indian nationals are requested to keep the Embassy informed about the status of their presence in Ukraine to enable the Embassy to reach out to them, where required."

In a separate statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) expressed "deep concerns" over the escalation but did not name Russia.

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "India is deeply concerned at the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, including targeting of infrastructure and deaths of civilians. We reiterate that escalation of hostilities is in no one’s interest. We urge immediate cessation of hostilities and the urgent return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue. India stands ready to support all such efforts aimed at de-escalation."

The latest round of Russian strikes come after a blast at a bridge linking Russia with Crimea. Russia occupied and annexed Crimea in 2014. The blast killed three people and resulted in the bridge collapsing partially. It was also engulfed in a fireball. 

Since early September, Ukraine has also mounted a counter-offensive in Eastern Ukraine in which Ukrainian military has recaptured several towns from Russians after months of occupation. Fighting is ongoing between Russian and Ukrainian forces at multiple fronts in Eastern Ukraine. 

(With PTI inputs)

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