Anwesh Upadhyaya has returned to India from Ukraine.© AFP
Indian chess player Anwesh Upadhyaya has finally returned home with his fiancée Viktoriia Ivanova after being beaten in war-torn Ukraine after Russia’s invasion nearly two weeks ago. The former national speed champion, who, like some of his compatriots, was trapped in Ukraine after the war broke out, overcame several hurdles before returning safely to his hometown of Bhubaneswar on Wednesday evening. “Yes…. glad we managed to escape and reach India after the battle. But Ukraine will always be in our thoughts,” said Anwesh, who is now looking for a new life in India.
After an anxious two-week wait, Anwesh, an international master, managed to flee Kiev and reach Lviv, en route to India via Poland.
Anwesh’s parents, Netaji and Jayashree, are happy that he has finally returned from the traumatic experience. “We are very happy that Anwesh is back home. He returned late Wednesday night. It was an anxious wait and we kept our fingers crossed. Times are tough and somehow he managed to come back,” Netaji told PTI from Bhubaneshwar. †
Anwesh’s fiancé, Viktoriia, a full-time chef before the pandemic put her out of work, worked as a logistics manager for an e-commerce platform in Kiev.
Her parents had wanted her to stay in Ukraine, but the Indian IM felt it was better for them to stay together and so the duo chose to take the risk and get away from the war-ravaged European country.
Anwesh, 30, was serving as a doctor at a hospital in Kiev and was doing his internship in gastroenterology when Russia launched the military operation. Anwesh had moved to Ukraine in 2012 to study medicine and also participate in tournaments.
He previously planned to return to India in March, but when Russia launched military operations on February 24, all commercial flights from Ukraine were suspended, leading to uncertainty for foreign citizens.
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