New Delhi: The Centre Monday informed that India had evacuated over 8,000 stranded nationals from Ukraine since the first advisory was issued by the government

Addressing a media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “Evacuation efforts on…Situation on ground continues to be complex and fluid, some of them quite concerning, but we’ve been able to accelerate our evacuation process. About 8,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine since we issued advisories, not since conflict began.”

He also informed that as of now six evacuation flights have landed in India, bringing back around 1,400 citizens.

Strengthening the evacuation machinery, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday decided at a high-level meeting that four Union ministers would fly as ‘special envoys’ to countries neighbouring Ukraine.

“Union Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia will be going to Romania, Kiren Rijiju to Slovak Republic, Hardeep Puri to Hungary, VK Singh to Poland…to coordinate and oversee the evacuation process,” Bagchi informed.

The MEA also noted that a new route through Moldova was now operational for evacuation.

At a briefing Monday, foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had also said the government would bear the full cost for ‘Operation Ganga’ — the country’s multi-pronged efforts to evacuate stranded nationals.

Shringla also informed the Indian government has asked its embassy in Kiev to establish a 24/7 control room to monitor the evacuation process.

He added that India has shared “deep concerns” for the wellbeing of its citizens with both envoys of Russia and Ukraine. India has also told these nations where its citizens are and demanded their protection.

Since the airspace in Ukraine was closed after the conflict started, India identified four neighbouring countries — Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia — to help with the land evacuation.