Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakashi Lekhi on Friday informed the Lok Sabha that around 22,500 Indian nationals, mostly students, returned from Ukraine since February 1 in the wake of Russia-Ukraine war.
Meenakashi said in Lok Sabha, "All Indian citizens willing to return to India were evacuated from Ukraine under 'Operation Ganga', 90 evacuation flights were operated at the Government of India's cost".
Under 'Operation Ganga' an evacuation mission to bring back all the Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine was carried out due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Around 20,000 Indians including students were stuck in Ukraine.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had earlier said that Under 'Operation Ganga' 90 flights had been operated, out of which 76 were civilian flights and 14 were Indian Air-force flights.
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had earlier said that "Operation Ganga will rank as one of the most well-coordinated and successful humanitarian evacuation missions undertaken by any country, anywhere in the world".
Hardeep Singh Puri was one of the four cabinet ministers who were deputed to the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to coordinate the evacuation efforts on the ground, the other ministers being, Kiren Rijiju, Jyotiraditya Scindia and VK Singh.
Earlier in March, the External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar in a written statement laid on the table of Rajya Sabha said that the government has been able to safely bring home 22,500 Indian citizens and 147 foreign nationals belonging to 18 countries from Ukraine since February 2022 in the wake of Russia-Ukraine war.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had earlier this year said that India's foreign policy helped during the evacuation of Indian nationals under Operation Ganga in Ukraine, Operation Devi Shakti in Afghanistan and Vande Bharat mission during the COVID-19 pandemic. (ANI)