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September 30, 2023

Indian Sailors Stranded In War-Hit Ukraine, Awaiting The Safe Passage From Mykolaiv

By Shivani

Around twenty-one sailors are stranded on board a merchant ship flying the Marshall Islands flag, awaiting safe passage from the port of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine. Since the invasion began on February 25, the crew has been confined to the vessel.

The vessel is one among 25 docked at the port following a stoppage in work. Russian forces are now advancing on the port city, a key transit point in Ukraine on the Black Sea Coast. Following a work stoppage, the vessel is one of 25 docked at the port. Russian forces are now advancing on the port city, which serves as a vital transit point for Ukrainians on the Black Sea Coast.

The vessel docked at Mykolaiv on February 22, and after unloading a cargo of corn, was supposed to sail out on February 25, but the invasion had already led to a blockade in the Black Sea.

The family of one of the crew members has requested assistance from the government in evacuating them from the war-torn country. The wife of another sailor on the ship accused the Mumbai-based company that operates the vessel of inaction. According to her, the ship set sail from Montreal in November 2021, carrying bulk cargo, including food grain. It arrived in Ukraine on February 26 and was scheduled to leave on February 28 for Italy.

Ukraine is a major corn and wheat exporter. After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, most commercial waterway traffic in the Black Sea came to a halt, trapping dozens of vessels in the area. According to Reuters, two cargo ships were hit off the coast of Odessa, with one crew member killed.

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