Two girls from Belagavi studying medicine among the several students from Karnataka stuck in Ukraine are safe and in touch with their families said Deputy Commissioner MG Hiremath.
The girls, Priya Bhagavant, from Kankanwadi village in Raibag taluk and Amogha Chougula from Ghataprabha in Gokak taluk Nidagundi are among the several students from Karnataka stuck in Ukraine.
The girls are currently holded up in their hostel. According to the families, the girls from Belagavi had booked a return flight on February 26 while Suchitra had booked a flight on March 3. But now, with international flights either running full or suspended, there is uncertainty over their return.
Both girls are safe and in touch with their families said Deputy Commissioner M G Hiremath on Thursday. Water Resources and District Incharge Minister Govind Karjol said that the state would requested to the Centre through Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi for evacuation of the girls from war-torn Ukraine.
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What is the conflict between Russia and Ukraine ?
Ukraine became an independent nation with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was earlier part of the Russian empire and later became the Soviet Republic and did away with its Russian imperial legacy, thereby forming close ties with the West.
Since its independence, the country is battling corruption and internal divisions. The country’s western side wants integration with the West while the eastern region with Russia.
The conflict started when Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych rejected an association agreement with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Moscow. The protestors ousted him in what is known as the Revolution of Dignity. In return, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and backed east Ukraine’s separatist rebellion.
Soon after this, it attacked Donbas, the country’s industrial heartland. Over 14,000 people lost their lives in the armed conflict between the Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists.
Ukraine and the West accused Russia of deploying troops and sending weapons to the rebellions, an allegation that Russia denied. However, Russia strongly criticised the US and NATO for aiding Ukraine with weapons and joint military drills. President Putin too expressed concerns over plans by some NATO members to establish military training centres in Ukraine as it will facilitate military foothold in the region even without Ukraine joining NATO.
Russia in its security demands said that it doesn’t want Ukraine to be a member state of NATO and further want to cease all NATO drills near its borders and withdrawal of NATO troops from central and eastern Europe. It is to be noted that Ukraine’s admission to NATO would require the unanimous approval of the 30 member states. Also, Russia views Ukraine as part of its “sphere of influence”, a territory, rather than an independent state.
However, the US and NATO have turned down Russia’s demands. The West is backing Ukraine and promised to hit Russia financially if its troops advance to Ukraine.
(In this photo taken from video and released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, tanks and armored vehicles move during the Belarusian and Russian joint military drills at Brestsky firing range, Belarus. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File))