ISKCON temples distribute food to people stranded at borders

The situation in Ukraine continues to escalate as it is the fifth day of the Russian invasion of the country. As Ukrainian citizens frantically seek help in desperate times, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has extended its assistance to residents of the war-torn country. ISKCON provides sanctuary for the people within the gates of the temple. Also, at the request of the Embassy of India, ISKCON members have launched a major food aid initiative in Hungary to provide food and cold drinks to returning students. ISKCON Vice President Radharamn Das said on Saturday that there are 54 ISKCON temples in Ukraine that are ready to help those in need.

ISKCON members have been seen delivering fresh food and water to stranded Indians crossing the Ukrainian-Hungarian border in videos and images uploaded to social media. ISKCON also plans to extend it to incoming Ukrainian refugees.

It comes just a day after Ravinder Singh, the founder of the UK-based Sikh organization Khalsa Aid, said Sikh volunteers provided free langar to students in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, 710 Indian students were successfully evacuated from war-torn Ukraine across the Romanian border. Despite repeated government warnings to Indian students to leave Ukraine as a full-scale Russian invasion approaches, some 18,000 students remain stranded in the Eastern European country. On Saturday night, Air India’s first evacuation plane, AIC 1944, landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai. The plane took off from Henri Coanda International Airport in Bucharest, carrying 219 passengers, most of whom were Indian students. According to Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar, the second flight from Bucharest to Delhi took off on Saturday carrying 250 Indians.

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky decided to start peace negotiations with Russia on the border with Belarus.

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Dennis Alvarado

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