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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightIndians forced to...

Indians forced to fight in Ukraine war after being hired as 'army security helpers'

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Moscow: At least three Indians, initially hired as "army security helpers" in Russia, have reportedly been coerced into fighting alongside Russian forces in the ongoing war against Ukraine.

The revelation surfaced after the family of one of the individuals, a resident of Hyderabad, reached out to Asaduddin Owaisi, the president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, reports indicate that around 500 Indians, including some with military backgrounds, have expressed their willingness to volunteer for the International Legion, created to oppose Russian forces in Ukraine. Notably, this marks the first instance of Indians being implicated in combat roles on the Russian side.

The matter came to light when Owaisi wrote to Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and the Indian Embassy in Moscow on January 25, 2024, urging them to facilitate the return of the three Indian nationals. Owaisi reiterated this plea on social media recently.

The individuals in question arrived in Russia in November 2023 with the assistance of an agent named Faisal Khan, who operates a job consultancy and recruitment agency named Baba Vlogs. Despite signing a contract designating them as army security helpers, the trio alleged that they were subjected to basic training by the Russian Army and later forced into combat in Rostov-on-Don, contrary to their initial understanding.

They claimed that their passports were confiscated, and promises of a monthly salary of Rs 1.95 lakh with an additional bonus of Rs 50,000 were reneged upon. One of the individuals, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, asserted that their repeated pleas to the Indian Embassy in Moscow went unanswered.

An agent associated with Khan acknowledged that the contract outlined three months of basic training, followed by psychological assessments. However, the agent revealed that passports were seized after just a month, compelling them into combat on Russia's behalf.

As of November, approximately 18 Indians have been stranded in Ukrainian cities, with one reported fatality in combat. The affected individuals hail from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir.

The Ministry of External Affairs declined to comment on the situation.

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TAGS:Asaduddin OwaisiS JaishankarUkraine War
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