The Indian Air Force is deploying its Ilyushin-76 heavy-lift transport aircraft to Russia as part of its effort to rescue stranded Indian people from Ukraine.
According to government sources, the Air Force is taking every measure and will not send its American-made C-17 aircraft to Russia, instead deploying the Russian-made Ilyushin-76.
"The Indian Air Force is sending Ilyushin-76 heavy-lift transport planes to Russia to repatriate Indian residents back from Ukraine." According to top government sources, India would not deploy American-made C-17 planes for the operation.
According to the reports, a number of Indian students from Ukraine are going into Russian territory with the guidance and cooperation of the Indian government. So far, India has only used C-17s and commercial flights to transport citizens back to India from Poland, Romania, and Hungary.
Meanwhile, MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi claimed on Thursday that 18,000 Indian nationals had fled Ukraine since the initial warning was issued. According to him, a total of 30 planes have returned 6,400 Indians from Ukraine as part of Operation Ganga.
Arindam Bagchi further said that 18 flights had been planned in the next 24 hours.