Indians fleeing Ukraine amid the Russian invasion have refused to leave their furry companions behind. Civilians all around showed exemplary courage in the face of war, with Indian students surviving slurs and shelling to escape the war-torn country. Ukrainians as well as Indian nationals who were stranded there have time and again refused to abandon their pets in the chaos. This resulted in India relaxing its rules for bringing back pets to the country from Ukraine. As per The Indian Express, an office memorandum (OM) issued by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying stated: “Considering unique and extraordinary situations in war-hit Ukraine wherein pre-export requisite formalities to export of pets into India may not be fulfilled, the import of pet dogs and / or pet cats along with stranded Indians being rescued by the Government of India, is being facilitated as one time relaxation measure.” Below are stories from every time that an Indian stranded in Ukraine put their foot down.
Rishabh Kaushik, who studied at the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics in east Ukraine, had not left Ukraine as he wanted to take his pet dog with him, a report in NDTV said. Now, however, him and his dog Maliboo are all set to fly out of Budapest to India.
Arya Aldrin went viral on social media after pictures of her trying to save her pet dog Saira amid the war in Ukraine surfaced. As per Times of India, Arya is a 20-year-old MBBS student from Kerala’s Idukki and she told the publication on Tuesday afternoon that they were both at the airport. They didn’t at the time possess any details on where they would be flying.
Meet Arya & Serah, Humanity on the battlefield. Arya aldrin, 2nd year medical student from #Kerala studying in Venecia university. She spent 2 days in bunker with her dog. Even stucked in the middle of #UkraineRussiaWar, both didn’t give up. pic.twitter.com/l09E1Eo128
— Vaisakh Aryan (@vaisakh_aryan) March 1, 2022
I have brought my friend’s dog with me from Ukraine. Many people who had dogs left them behind in Ukraine, but I brought back this dog along with me: Zahid, a student rescued from Ukraine, at Hindan airbase pic.twitter.com/bEslfEBI6L— ANI (@ANI) March 3, 2022
Hindan airbase | This cat has been with me for the past 4 months. It stayed with me in the bunker, and then we crossed into Poland together: Gautam, rescued from Kyiv, Ukraine has brought back his pet cat with him pic.twitter.com/B53TV1LE4M— ANI (@ANI) March 3, 2022
Apart from them, many of those boarding the Indian Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster could be seen bringing along their four-legged friends in a video from MoS Civil Aviation Gen (Retd) VK Singh.
“Some evacuees brought their four-legged best friends as well. Good to have all of our Indian students aboard on the Indian Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster ready to return to the safety of our motherland”: MoS Civil Aviation Gen (Retd) VK Singh(Video Source: VK Singh’s Twitter) pic.twitter.com/7pGgcGh7de
— ANI (@ANI) March 2, 2022
Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has also undertaken efforts for the dogs to be brought back safely to India.
Several stories of solidarity among Indians and those belonging to other nationalities coming to light in the tragedy of the war. An Indian restaurant turned bomb shelter in Kyiv, and the Indian flag has helped not just Indians but also Pakistani and Turkish nationals cross the various checkpoints in Ukraine safely.