New Delhi : Rishab Kaushik, a Dehradun resident who refused to leave war-torn Ukraine without his pet dog Maliboo, arrived in India early on Friday via Budapest (Hungary). Kaushik is an undergraduate student of software engineering at the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics Engineering.
He had posted a video on Instagram regarding the difficulties he is facing in bringing his dog along with him to India, urging the Government to allow NOC.
His video led People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to appeal to the Indian government to press for allowing the Indians to take their pets along with in the flights.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Government of India issued a memorandum facilitating “a one-time relaxation measure” for bringing back pet dogs and cats along with stranded Indians who are being evacuated from war-hit Ukraine.
“There was a lot of documentation in India, the procedure was long. But in war-like situations, they should’ve allowed their own citizens. So, I had put up the appeal. A memorandum had come recently which stated that pets and even strays are now being allowed without NOC,” Kaushik told ANI.
A special flight from Hungary carrying 219 Indian nationals stranded in conflict-torn Ukraine reached Delhi on Friday.
The special IndiGo flight under Operation Ganga departed from Hungary’s capital Budapest on Thursday.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Nisith Pramanik received the Indian students on their arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport. He also interacted with the students.
The Ministry of External Affairs, in close coordination with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, is making all efforts to bring the Indian students back to India at a fast pace.
Four Union Ministers -Hardeep Singh Puri, Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and Gen (Retd) VK Singh — have gone to countries adjoining Ukraine to support and supervise evacuation operations. Indian civilian planes as well as Indian Air Force planes are regularly bringing back stranded Indian students.
The Ministry of External Affairs said more than 7,400 persons are expected to be brought through special flights in the next two days. Further, 3,500 persons are expected to be brought back on Friday and over 3,900 on March 5.
Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities.
Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia’s military operations in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Moscow. These countries have also promised Ukraine to help with military aid to fight Russia.
The US, Canada and European allies agreed to remove key Russian banks from the interbank messaging system, SWIFT which means Russian banks won’t be able to communicate securely with banks beyond Russia’s borders. President Putin has also signed a decree on special economic measures against the US and its allies.