Wednesday, May 29, 2024

India urges citizens not to risk lives by taking up support jobs with Russian Army


New Delhi: Against the backdrop of death of two Indians serving as support staff with Russian military units, India on Friday called on its nationals to not risk their lives by taking up such jobs and asserted that it is focused on securing the early discharge of all persons working in similar positions.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said several Indians have been “duped” to work with the Russian Army and New Delhi has strongly taken up the matter with Moscow for their early discharge.

In his weekly media briefing, Jaiswal appealed to Indian nationals to not get “swayed” by offers made by agents for support jobs with the Russian Army, saying it is fraught with danger and risk to life.

The MEA spokesperson’s comments at his weekly media briefing came days after 30-year-old Indian national Mohammed Asfan from Hyderabad, who was duped into joining Russia’s war against Ukraine, was killed.

The Indian Embassy in Moscow on Wednesday confirmed Asfan’s death in a post on X without mentioning the reason or circumstances behind his demise.

Asfan was the second Indian to be killed after the death of Hemal Ashwinbhai Mangukiya, a 23-year-old resident of Gujarat. Mangukiya died in a Ukrainian air strike last month while serving as a security helper in the Donetsk region.

Jaiswal said around 20 Indians had contacted the Indian government.”Now we have seen some more, we have seen some videos, we are trying to contact them.” The exact number of Indians working as support staff to the Russian Army is not yet known.

“Several Indian nationals have been duped to work with the Russian Army. We have strongly taken up the matter with the Russian government for early discharge of such Indian nationals,” he said.

The MEA spokesperson said strong action has been initiated against agents and unscrupulous elements who recruited the Indians on “false pretexts and promises”.

“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,” he said.

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

Jaiswal said the government is doing its best to trace the Indians.

“We are doing our best to locate them. We are in touch with the Russian authorities so that they can be released and discharged early,” he said.

“We have been able to get some people discharged after talking to the Russian government, our talks are continuing.” Jaiswal said India remains committed to ensure early release of the Indian nationals serving as support staff to the Russian Army.

“We remain committed to the early release of our nationals serving as support staff with the Russian Army and their eventual return home,” he said.

According to media reports, many Indians recruited as security helpers in the Russian military, have been forced to even fight with Russian soldiers in certain areas along Russia’s border with Ukraine.

Two Russia-based agents involved in the human trafficking network that pushed Indians into the Ukraine war zone are under the CBI scanner, officials said on Friday.

The agents allegedly confiscated the passports of Indians arriving in Russia and forced them to fight with the armed forces, they said. The network was busted by the CBI on Thursday.


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