About 20 Indians sought help for discharge from Russian Army, says MEA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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About 20 Indians sought help for discharge from Russian Army, says MEA

By, New Delhi
Mar 01, 2024 02:02 AM IST

The Indian side is in regular touch with Russian authorities in New Delhi and Moscow to address this issue

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

In this photo taken from video and released by Russian defence ministry press service on February 8, 2024, a rocket is fired from the Russian army's TOS-1 thermobaric system at an undisclosed location in Ukraine. (AP)
In this photo taken from video and released by Russian defence ministry press service on February 8, 2024, a rocket is fired from the Russian army's TOS-1 thermobaric system at an undisclosed location in Ukraine. (AP)

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. There were unconfirmed reports of two deaths and several injuries among the Indian nationals.

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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.

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

“We have an understanding that 20-odd people are stuck. We are trying our level best for their early discharge,” he said in response to several questions. “We have told people not to venture in the war zone or get caught in situations which are difficult.”

The Indian side is in regular touch with Russian authorities in New Delhi and Moscow to address this issue. “We are trying to do our best. We are deeply committed to the welfare of all Indians,” Jaiswal said.

In response to another question on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Jaiswal said India’s position on this issue was well known and had been articulated at the highest levels. India, he said, “desires that there be discussions, diplomacy [and] constant engagement so that both sides can come together and find a solution for peace.”

Also Read | Back from Russia, Indian recruit recounts horror, safe return

The external affairs ministry on Monday said that several Indians were discharged from the Russian Army after their case was taken up by Indian authorities. The ministry also said that “every such case brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been strongly taken up with the Russian authorities”.

There is, however, still no clarity on the exact number of Indians who had been discharged from the Russian Army.

Last week, India advised its citizens to stay away from getting caught up in the Russia-Ukraine conflict following reports that Indian nationals in support jobs had been forced to fight alongside Russian troops.

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and MP Asaduddin Owaisi and the Karnataka government recently approached the external affairs ministry to bring back the Indians caught in the fighting. Several of these Indians belong to Karnataka, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier, there were reports of some 200 men from Nepal being recruited by the Russian military. Nepal’s foreign ministry acknowledged in December that six Nepalese nationals serving in the Russian Army were killed in the Ukraine war.

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