- These activities are commonly used in Russian disinformation, the US Dept of State said
- "Russians had taken hostage students from India, Pakistan, China and other countries," Ukraine said
- Ukraine demanded Moscow to allow the opening of a humanitarian corridor to other Ukrainian cities
The US Department of State on Wednesday (local time) said that they have not seen any verified report of Ukraine using Indian students as human shields. These activities are commonly used in Russian disinformation, it said. The statement by the US Department of State came after the Russian Embassy in India had claimed that Indian students have been taken hostage by Ukrainian security forces to use them as a human shield.
"We have seen no verified reports of these incidents, and these types of reports about using civilians as human shields are commonly used in Russian disinformation," a US Department of State spokesperson said.
In a tweet, Russia in India had said, "According to the latest information, these students are actually taken hostage by the Ukrainian security forces, who use them as a human shield and in every possible way prevent them from leaving for Russia. Responsibility, in this case, lies entirely with the Kyiv authorities."
However, Ukraine has reacted to Russia's allegations and said that "Russians had taken hostage students from India, Pakistan, China and other countries".
"We called on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its hostilities in Kharkiv and Sumy so that they can arrange the evacuation of the civilian population, including foreign students, to safer Ukrainian cities"," said Ukraine's Foreign Ministry in a statement.
Ukraine demanded Moscow allow the opening of a humanitarian corridor to other Ukrainian cities.
"We urgently call on the governments of India, Pakistan, China and other counties whose students have become hostages of the Russian armed aggression in Kharkiv and Sumy, to demand from Moscow that it allows the opening of a humanitarian corridor to other Ukrainian cities," the statement said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine earlier today launched an emergency hotline for foreign students wishing to leave Ukraine because of the Russian invasion, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.
"We have established an emergency hotline for African, Asian and other students wishing to leave Ukraine because of Russia's invasion. +380934185684. We are working intensively to ensure their safety and speed up their passage. Russia must stop its aggression which affects us all," Kuleba said on Twitter on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Russian Envoy to UN Vasily Nebenzya has repeatedly said that nationalists in Ukraine are using civilians as human shields.
(With inputs from ANI)