Did PM Modi stop the Russia – Ukraine war 6 hours to evacuate Indian students?

Claim

32 thousand of our children were trapped in Ukraine. PM Modi called Putin & Zelensky and stopped the war. Children were evacuated from Ukraine and brought back to India. – Mr. @JPNadda

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Explanation

Himachal Pradesh people are set to vote for their Legislative Assembly elections in a few days’ time i.e., on 12th November 2022 and the results for the same will be declared on 8th December 2022 after the Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections that are to be held in two phases on 1st and 5th December.

Electoral campaigns of political parties are in full swing and BJP, the ruling party in both states, is not taking anything for granted. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been visiting the poll bound states quite frequently and held various rallies in addition to launching new schemes.

With only few days to go for Himachal Pradesh elections, BJP’s official twitter handle had made a tweet which claimed that the ongoing war in Russia and Ukraine was stopped for 6 hours when PM Modi called Putin and Zelensky, for getting the Indian students out of Ukraine. These claims were first made in March 2022.

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The same claims have been repeated now and had been shared by various official twitter handles of the BJP and a BJP MLA from Bihar also made the same tweet with identical text.

What’s the truth?

Indian Embassy in Ukraine tweeted an advisory on 2nd March 2022 in its official twitter handle which asked all Indian Nationals in Kharkiv to Pisochyn, Babai or Bezlyudivka by 6 PM Ukraine time on the same day.

The below screen shot image from the Google Maps shows where these three places are located in relation to Kharkiv.

As the city of Kharkiv was attacked, the safety advisory asked Indian citizens to go south or west to Pisochyn, Babai and Bezlyudivka.

 

Following this, many claimed that the war in Ukraine was stopped by Russia and Ukraine for 6 hours due to Modi’s intervention and various tweets with similar claims or sometimes even identical text was shared on social media. Aditya Raj Kaul and various Journalists and News outlets shared the same claim. Some these can be seen here, here, here, here and here.

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BJP Maharashtra’s twitter handle also made the same claim back in March 2022. However, Suhasini Haider, the Diplomatic Affairs Editor of The Hindu newspaper, refuted the claims by quoting the Ministry of External Affairs which denied Russia stopping the war for 6 hours but confirmed that they received inputs from Russia which helped them to inform Indian citizens to leave the city in certain routes but denied any co-ordination with Russia in their attack plans.

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Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson from the Ministry of External Affairs addressed the media on 3rd March 2022 regarding evacuation of Indian citizens from Ukraine which was named Operation Ganga. In the press meet, Arindam Bagchi was asked regarding the claims made in several news stories and social media posts about the stoppage of war for 6 hours in the 39th minute of the press conference to which he responded, “War was stopped? Again, it’s the language that I have not… We were told this is the way to get citizens out. I’ll limit myself to that. Whether the war was stopped, what stopped, who stopped. I’m not getting into that.

Earlier in the same press conference at around 21-minute mark, the spokesperson clarified that co-ordination has been going on with various countries and in touch with Ukraine and Russia. India had been given a specific route for Indian citizens should go by a specified time.

He specified, “but extrapolating that to say that somebody is holding up bombing or that… this is something that we are coordinating that.. I think its absolutely inaccurate. I don’t think if could… ceasure.. it would extrapolate itself. We would then order a resumption of bombing. I think that’s really getting a bit ahead of ourselves.” He also dismissed that such claims are just media stories.

We have already fact-checked the story back on 5th March 2022 in our Tamil site.

Read here: ரஷ்யா-உக்ரைன் போரை 6 மணி நேரம் இந்தியா நிறுத்தியதாக வதந்தி!

Conclusion

In our search, we find that the claims made about stoppage of war for 6 hours is false. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had refuted these claims and termed them inaccurate.

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Ramasamy Jayaprakash

Ramasamy works as a Senior Sub-Editor at YouTurn and writes articles in Tamil and English. He also makes videos for YouTurn's Tamil & English YouTube channels.
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