PM Modi to speak to Zelensky, Putin today as conflict enters day 12


Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to speak to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday as the ongoing conflict enters 12th day, Government of India sources said.

PM Modi spoke to both of them twice earlier, since the war broke out on February 24 after Putin authorised a special military operation on Ukraine. Amid constant efforts of the government to evacuate Indians from Ukraine, PM Modi reaching out to the warring country heads is crucial. 

 This morning, Russia said it will hold fire and open “humanitarian corridors” in several Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, at 10 AM Moscow time (12.30 PM IST). The Interfax news agency cited Russia’s defence ministry as saying that the corridors, also to be opened from Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy, are being set up at the personal request of French President Emmanuel Macron and in view of the current situation in those cities.

PM Modi is expected to speak to President Zelensky first before dialling President Putin in the afternoon.

PM Modi has spoken to the Russian President twice since the war broke out. He had spoken to President Zelensky last on February 26, days after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. That conversation followed India’s abstention from a UN vote to condemn Russia’s aggression.

India is trying to move out hundreds of Indians, mainly students, still stuck in war-hit Ukraine. New Delhi has been urging Moscow to impose a ceasefire to enable the evacuation of Indian students trapped after Russian troops invaded Ukraine in late February.

Students stuck in a medical college hostel in the Ukrainian city of Sumy were told yesterday by the Indian Embassy to “be ready to leave on short notice”. A team of officials has been stationed in Poltava – nearly a three-hour drive from Sumy – to coordinate the safe passage of the students.

The students in Sumy had shared videos saying they have decided to take a risky journey to the Russian border that’s 50 kilometres away. They, however, decided to stay put after the government contacted them and advised them to “avoid unnecessary risks”.

Evacuation from the warzone has been a huge challenge for Indian authorities, with students struggling in the bitter cold amid depleting food supplies and drinking water.

CommentsIndia has brought back over 15,920 of its nationals in 76 flights under mission “Operation Ganga” which was launched on February 26.