Ukraine war: 7 Indian tourists ‘tricked’ into joining Russian Army, seek help | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Ukraine war: 7 Indian tourists from Punjab, Haryana ‘tricked’ into joining Russian Army, seek help

Mar 06, 2024 09:56 AM IST

A group of Indians alleged that they got tricked into joining the military in Russia and were sent to fight in the Ukraine war.

A group of seven young men hailing from Punjab and Haryana have made an urgent plea to the authorities for assistance, alleging that they were deceived into military service in Russia and have been deployed to take part in Ukraine conflict, NDTV reported.

Indians have been identified as Gagandeep Singh (24), Lovepreet Singh (24), Narain Singh (22), Gurpreet Singh (21), Gurpreet Singh (23), Harsh Kumar (20) and Abhishek Kumar (21).
Indians have been identified as Gagandeep Singh (24), Lovepreet Singh (24), Narain Singh (22), Gurpreet Singh (21), Gurpreet Singh (23), Harsh Kumar (20) and Abhishek Kumar (21).

The seven Indians have been identified as Gagandeep Singh (24), Lovepreet Singh (24), Narain Singh (22), Gurpreet Singh (21), Gurpreet Singh (23), Harsh Kumar (20) and Abhishek Kumar (21). While five workers are said to be from Punjab, the other two are from Haryana, The Hindu reported.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

In a 105-second video circulating on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), the seven men are seen wearing military winter jackets or skull caps. They are positioned within a dimly lit and unkempt room with a sealed window at one end. Six of them are clustered in a corner while the seventh, identified as 19-year-old Harsh from Karnal, Haryana, records a video message detailing their predicament and appealing for aid.

Also Read | About 20 Indians sought help for discharge from Russian Army, says MEA

NDTV reported that they left for Russia on December 27 - to celebrate the New Year there. They had a visa for the Russia trip - valid for 90 days - but then travelled to neighbouring Belarus.

"An agent offered to take us to Belarus... we were not aware we needed a visa. When we went to Belarus (without a visa) the agent asked us for more money and then abandoned us. The police caught us and handed us over to Russian authorities, who made us sign documents," Harsh said in the video.

"Now they (Russia) are forcing us to fight in the war against Ukraine."

Harsh's family told the news channel that he had also sought employment abroad, and was reportedly told that it would be easier to emigrate to a country of his choice if he went via Russia.

Also Read | Several Indians discharged from Russian Army, pursuing all cases: MEA

Harsh's brother claimed he was given weapons training and deployed to the Donestsk region.

Amrit Singh, the brother of Gurpreet Singh who is also reportedly seen in the video, told NDTV that the men were "forced" into military service. "They were forced to join the army there since the documents which they signed in Belarus were in the Russian language. It said they either accept imprisonment for 10 years or join the Russian army," Amrit Singh was quoted as saying.

Reports have suggested that up to 100 Indian nationals had been recruited as support staff by the Russian Army and that dozens of them had been forced to fight on the border with Ukraine.

Last week, the external affairs ministry said about 20 Indian nationals serving with the Russian military have approached authorities seeking help for their discharge, against the backdrop of reports of casualties among Indians forced to fight in the war against Ukraine.

Also Read | MEA reacts to reports of Indians with Russian Army seeking help for discharge

External affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal told a regular media briefing that some 20 Indians, working as support staff or helpers with the Russian Army, have contacted Indian authorities for assistance. He didn’t specify the total number of Indians believed to be working with the Russian military.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Delhi Election 2024 Live, Election 2024 Date, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
Share this article

    Follow the latest breaking news and developments from India and around the world with Hindustan Times' newsdesk. From politics and policies to the economy and the environment, from local issues to national events and global affairs, we've got you covered.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 26, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On