About 20 Indians stuck in Russia, efforts on for their early discharge: MEA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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About 20 Indians stuck in Russia, efforts on for their early discharge: MEA

Feb 29, 2024 07:42 PM IST

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

New Delhi: 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.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal (File Photo)
External affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal (File Photo)

Reports have suggested that up to 100 Indian nationals had been recruited as support staff by the Russian Army and that dozens of them were forced to fight on the border with Ukraine. There were unconfirmed reports of two deaths and several injuries among the Indian nationals.

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 did not specify the total number of Indians believed to be working with the Russian military.

“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 into the war zone or get caught in situations which are difficult.”

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

The Indian side is in regular touch with the 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”.

The external affairs ministry said on Monday 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 war with Ukraine.

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