Several Indians discharged from Russian Army, pursuing all cases: MEA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Several Indians discharged from Russian Army, pursuing all cases: MEA

Feb 26, 2024 10:12 AM IST

India last week advised its citizens to stay away from getting caught up in the Russia-Ukraine conflict following reports that Indian nationals have secured support jobs with the Russian Army

Several Indian nationals were discharged from the Russian Army after their case was taken up by Indian authorities, which will continue to pursue all such cases.

The external affairs ministry said every case brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been taken up. (Wikipedia)
The external affairs ministry said every case brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been taken up. (Wikipedia)

Responding to “inaccurate” media reports about “Indians with the Russian army seeking help for discharge”, the external affairs ministry said in a statement on Monday that “every such case brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been strongly taken up with the Russian authorities”.

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The statement didn’t give details of the media reports it was referring to but said cases of Indians in the Russian Army “brought to the attention of the Ministry have been taken up with the Russian Embassy in New Delhi”. The statement said: “Several Indians have already been discharged as a result.”

There is still no clarity about how many Indians were serving in the Russian Army and how many had been discharged. Reports have suggested the number serving with the Russian Army could be up to 100.

“We remain committed, as a matter of top priority, to actively pursuing with the Russian authorities all the relevant cases of Indian nationals for an early discharge from the Russian army,” the statement said.

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

At that time, the external affairs ministry acknowledged that “a few” Indians had signed up for support jobs with the Russian Army, and that the Indian embassy in Moscow has “regularly taken up this matter with the relevant Russian authorities for their early discharge”.

The media reports have said several Indians, who signed up as “security helpers” with the Russian military, were forced to fight beside Russian troops along the border with Ukraine.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested there were some casualties and at least two deaths among the Indian nationals.

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and MP Asaduddin Owaisi and the Karnataka government 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.

Karnataka minister Priyank Kharge and relatives of some of the Indians have said they were sent to Russia by recruitment agents. Kharge said they were recruited by Wagner Group, the Russian state-funded private military company, to fight against Ukraine.

Earlier, there were reports of up to 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.

The war triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 is set to enter its third year on Saturday. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has verified 30,457 civilian casualties, including 10,582 killed and 19,875 injured, since the war began.

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