New Delhi urges Moscow to release Indians duped to fight in Russia-Ukraine war

Team India Sentinels Friday 8th of March 2024 06:59 PM

Russian soldiers during a parade. (Social media photo for representation.)

New Delhi: India said it has “strongly” taken up the matter with the Russian government for the early discharge of several Indian nationals who have been duped to work as support staff with the Russian Army in the warzone between Russia and Ukraine, the Ministry of External Affairs (foreign ministry) told reporters on Friday.

The foreign ministry’s spokesman, Randhir Jaiswal, said India remains committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of its citizens abroad and has initiated strong action against the agents and unscrupulous elements who recruited the Indians on false pretexts and promises, as India Sentinels had reported earlier.

“The CBI yesterday busted a major human trafficking network conducting searches in several cities and collecting incriminating evidence. A case of human trafficking has been registered against several agents,” Jaiswal said at his weekly media briefing.

“We once again appeal to Indian nationals not to be swayed by offers made by agents for support jobs with the Russian Army. This is fraught with danger and risk to life,” he added.

Jaiswal said that India has been in touch with the Russian authorities and the Indian Embassy in Moscow to facilitate the release and repatriation of the stranded Indians.

“We have strongly taken it up with the Russian government at various levels and requested them to expedite the process of discharge of our nationals from the Russian Army and their safe return to India,” he said.

According to media reports, at least two Indians have died on the frontlines in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, while around 20 others are still trapped in the war zone. The families of the victims have alleged that they were lured by agents who offered them jobs as helpers in Russian government offices, but later forced them to join the Russian Army.

The Russia-Ukraine war, which began in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea, which historically belonged to Russia with an overwhelmingly Russian-speaking population but was given to Ukraine during Soviet Union period when Ukraine was a Soviet province termed as a “republic”, has entered the last phase with Russia poised to complete most of its war objectives by this year. 

India has maintained a close relationship with Russia for decades and has refrained from taking sides in the conflict, urging the two parties to resolve the crisis through dialogue and diplomacy. However, the plight of the Indian nationals who have been duped by agents to fight for Russia has raised serious concerns in New Delhi and among the public. 

The families of the victims have demanded the government to take swift action to bring back their loved ones and punish the culprits behind the trafficking racket.


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