India asks stranded citizens to learn some Russian phrases

While many stranded citizens await evacuation from war-torn Ukraine as India’s Operation Ganga is underway, in its latest advisory, India urged them to learn a few Russian phrases.  

The advisory issued by the Defense Ministry urged its Indian nationals, especially in Kharkiv, to learn a few sentences in the Russian language, such as telling people they were students from India. The advisory also mentions a few sentences in Russian that the students should learn. 

“Ya student iz Indii (I am a student from India), ‘Ya nekombatant (I am a non-combatant)’, ‘Pazhalusta Pamagite (please, help me)’,” the ministry said in an advisory for Indian nationals in Ukraine’s Kharkiv about potentially dangerous and difficult situations to be expected, news agency IANS reported. 

The advisory warned of the ‘potentially dangerous/difficult situations to be expected’ including aerial raids, attacks by drones and aircraft, missile attacks, artillery shelling, gunfire, bomb explosions, falling debris and collapse of buildings. The advisory, prepared by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses also mentioned that they could expect lack of electricity, food and water, exposure to freezing temperatures, psychological trauma, feeling of panic, injuries and lack of medical support, encounter with armed fighters and lack of transportation. 

“Make a WhatsApp group, compile details, names, addresses, mobile numbers and contact in India/Share geolocation on WhatsApp with Control Room(s) in Embassy or in New Delhi/Update information every 08 hours/Keep frequent headcount (every 08 hours)/Group/Squad coordinators to report their location to Control Rooms/Helpline Numbers,” it said. 

Survival guidelines for Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine 


  • Keep ready a small kit of essential items on person or at hand round the clock like Passport, essential medication. 
  • If injured or ill, intimate condition and seek advice from control room/helpline/WhatsApp.  
  • Delete all unnecessary apps in mobile, limit conversations to low volume/audio mode to conserve battery.  
  • Stay indoors, preferably in designated safe zones, basements, bunkers. 
  • Learn sentences in Russian (e.g. we are students, we are not combatants, please do not harm us, we are from India) 
  • When stationary, do regular deep breathing, mild movement of limbs to maintain good blood circulation 
  • Nominate a coordinator/deputy to communicate with local authorities, embassy and Indian control rooms to conserve phone batteries. 
  • Conserve and share food and water and avoid full meals, eat smaller portions to extend the rations and stay hydrated. 
  • Every group carry a white flag and learn a few sentences in Russian that can help identify themselves as students and Indians. 
  • Refrain from commenting on social media, don’t pick up weapons or any unexploded ammunition/shells. 
  • Do not take pictures/selfies with military vehicles/troops/soldiers/check posts/militia, do not try and film live combat situations. 


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