Union Minister Piyush Goyal was in Mumbai to welcome students from Ukraine

New Delhi: India today evacuated 219 people as part of its mission to bring Indians from war-hit Ukraine. The flight took off from neighbouring Romania, as the Ukrainian airspace has been closed for civil aircraft operations, and landed in Mumbai at 7:50 pm.

"Welcome back to the motherland!" tweeted Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who was in Mumbai to welcome the returning students.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who said he is personally monitoring the evacuation efforts, also tweeted saying this is the first step in the evacuation mission titled "Operation Ganga".

"These are our children who are coming back to their homeland. So we as BMC are doing all the preparation for them. If they want to go anywhere, their testing, vaccination, food, anything, we will be bearing their expenses," said Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar.

Indians who were evacuated and brought to the Romanian capital Bucharest praised Indian officials for "taking care of everything", while many others still stranded in bunkers complained that no help has been forthcoming.

The Indian embassy in Ukraine has advised its citizens not to move to any of the border posts without coordination with its officials. Thousands of Indians have been stranded in the country and are desperately seeking a way out.

"The situation at various border checkpoints is sensitive and the Embassy is working continuously with our Embassies in our neighbouring countries for coordinated evacuation of our citizens," the Indian embassy in Ukraine tweeted this morning.

Ukraine Says Not Refusing Talks With Russia, But Not Ready For Ultimatums

The embassy said that it's finding it "increasingly difficult" to help Indian nationals who reach border checkpoints without prior intimation.

Meanwhile, India abstained on a US-sponsored UN Security Council resolution that deplored in the strongest terms Russia's aggression against Ukraine. New Delhi said dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes and voiced "regret" that the path of diplomacy was given up.

The resolution did not pass as permanent member Russia used its veto.