Published On: Wed, Mar 6th, 2024

Ukraine war: Seven Indians on holiday issue plea after being forced into Russian army | World | News


A distressing plea has emerged from a group of young men from India who claim to have been deceived into military service in Russia‘s war against Ukraine.

In a video circulated on social media platform X, seven individuals in military-style winter gear plead for assistance from the government, highlighting their dire predicament.

The footage depicts the young men, confined within a dank room, with 19-year-old Harsh from Haryana’s Karnal leading the appeal.

According to Harsh, the group took a trip to Russia on December 27 to celebrate the New Year, equipped with a valid 90-day visa. However, upon their arrival in Belarus, they were lured into illegal transit, robbed and abandoned.

Subsequently apprehended by Belarusian authorities and handed over to Russian forces, they were coerced into signing undisclosed documents, effectively conscripting them into military service.

READ MORE: Ukrainian saboteurs ‘sneak over 600 miles into Russia and bomb railway bridge’

He said: “An agent offered to take us to Belarus … We were not aware we needed a visa. When we went to Belarus 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. Now they [Russia] are forcing us to fight in the war against Ukraine.”

Harsh’s family disclosed his initial intent to seek employment abroad, only to fall victim to exploitation and manipulation.

His distraught mother described the loss of her son’s autonomy, revealing the coercive tactics employed by Russian soldiers to enlist him forcefully.

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The gravity of the situation is underscored by reports indicating the involvement of nearly two dozen Indian nationals, either stranded in Russia or thrust into the throes of combat.

Many, like Azad Yousf Kumar from Jammu and Kashmir, found themselves trapped and facing grave danger on the battlefield merely days after their involuntary enlistment.

Accounts have surfaced of at least 10 individuals from various Indian states falling victim to similar subterfuge, promising employment opportunities only to be coerced into military service.

Amid mounting concerns, the Indian government has assured proactive measures to address the plight of its citizens caught in the crossfire.

The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed ongoing dialogue with Russian counterparts to facilitate the safe return of affected individuals, emphasising the urgency of the situation.

Encouraging Indians to exercise caution and vigilance, government spokespersons reiterated the commitment to ensuring the welfare and security of its citizens, urging them to refrain from entanglement in the conflict.

A government spokesperson said: “We are aware … the Indian Embassy has taken up their early discharge with the relevant Russian authorities.

“We urge all Indians to stay away from this conflict.”



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