Chess player Anwesh Upadhyaya returns safely from Ukraine

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 stricken in war-torn Ukraine after the Russian invasion nearly two weeks ago. The former national rapid champion, who like many of his compatriots was stuck in Ukraine after the start of the war, overcame several obstacles before making it safely back to his hometown of Bhubaneswar on Wednesday evening. “Yeah…glad we managed to escape and reach India after the fighting. But Ukraine will always be on our minds,” said Anwesh, who is now looking to start a new life in India.

After an anxious two-week wait, Anwesh, an international Master, managed to flee Kyiv and reach Lviv, en route to India via Poland.

Anwesh’s parents – Netaji and Jayashree – are happy that he has finally come back after overcoming the traumatic experience. “We are very happy to have Anwesh back home. He came back late Wednesday night. It was an anxious wait and we had our fingers crossed. These are tough times and one way or another, he managed to come back,” Netaji told PTI from Bhubaneshwar. .

Anwesh’s fiancée, Viktoriia, a full-time chef before the pandemic made her jobless, worked as a logistics manager for an e-commerce platform in Kyiv.

Her parents wanted her to stay in Ukraine, but India’s IM felt it was best for them to stay together and as a result, the duo opted to take the risk and leave the war-torn European nation. .

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Anwesh, 30, was a doctor at a Kiev hospital and was training in gastroenterology when Russia launched the military operation. Anwesh had moved to Ukraine in 2012 to pursue medical studies and also compete in tournaments.

He had previously planned to return to India in March, but with the launch of military operations by Russia on February 24, all commercial flights from Ukraine were suspended, causing uncertainty for foreign citizens.

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