A girl from Jadavpur in south Kolkata who was staying put in Kharkiv over the past five days fled the city on Tuesday because of the “relentless shelling and thud of gunfights in the locality”.
A Ukrainian military training centre is located just across the street where she lived.
Sarbori Biswas, a second-year MBBS student at Kharkiv National Medical University, said she and her friends decided “it was time to head for a safer location” amid a sharp drop in food supply.
Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagouda, a student from Karnataka who was studying at Kharkiv National Medical University, died after he ventured out to collect food on Tuesday.
Sarbori and her friends booked a cab to reach Kharkiv railway station on Tuesday afternoon and boarded a train that would take them to Lviv, a city in western Ukraine, closer to the Hungarian border.
“The fights in Derzhprom and Istrochyni Muzei, the two city centres in Kharkiv that are less than 2km from our place of stay, were getting intense. The gunshots and heavy artillery fire were almost within our earshots. Then the food supply was getting erratic and venturing out to collect food has become too risky. So we decided to flee,” Sarbori said.
Sarbori and three of her friends stayed in their flat on the third floor of a building in Vulytsya Krymska, a locality in Kharkiv.
“It was getting pretty bad. The wail of sirens and the never-ending gun shots left us with no choice. We realised that if we did not manage to get out now, it would be too late,” said the Presidency University alumnus.
“The Indian embassy in Budapest (capital of Hungary) posted they were working to establish evacuation routes from Romania and Hungary. The teams are getting ready at two checkpoints…. From Lviv, we can go to these borders. We are keeping our fingers crossed… we want to reach Lviv safely,” she said over the phone.
The train journey is likely to take 12 hours. From there they are likely to be bussed to any of the borders.