Long traffic jams were reported as people tried to leave Ukraine | Photo courtesy: Getty Images

As the Ukraine crisis took a major turn on February 24 with Russia striking major airports in the country, the Indian embassy in Ukraine announced that they are making alternative arrangements for evacuation of stranded nationals.

The ministry of external affairs is in touch with all the neighbouring countries surrounding Ukraine to evacuate Indian citizens. Many citizens who were to fly back to India were left stranded at the airport after closure of Ukrainian airspace following Russia’s Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a military operation in Ukraine.

The embassy has also issued helpline numbers and asked its citizens stranded in Ukraine to reach out to the embassy for evacuation.

“Please carry your passports and necessary documents on your person at all times. You are advised to follow embassy website and social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) posts for updates on this regard,” the embassy said.

Embassy issued helpline numbers which are +38 0997300483, +38 0997300428, +38 0933980327, +38 0635917881 and +38 0935046170.

India started planes to evacuate citizens living in the country since the war-like situation emerged. A special flight landed in Delhi earlier, carrying 182 Indians.

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But an Air India flight scheduled to evacuate on February 24 was forced to return to Delhi early morning after the eastern European country closed its airspace.

Over 20,000 Indian citizens were in the country as the crisis with Russia escalated rapidly over the past week.

Now, the Indian government’s immediate priority is to evacuate these people but the closure of Ukrainian airspace makes this a challenging proposition.

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