Several Indians Forced into Combat on Russia-Ukraine Border, Here's why
Several Indians Forced into Combat on Russia-Ukraine Border, Here's why

Several Indians claim they were deceived into accepting positions as "army security helpers" in Russia, only to find themselves coerced into fighting alongside Russian forces near the Ukrainian border. According to reports, at least three individuals narrated their harrowing experiences, detailing basic weapons training and being thrust into combat zones near Donetsk, where they faced the threat of bullets and imminent danger.

Originating from states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Punjab, the families of these men have sought assistance from authorities, including Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi. They assert that their kin were enticed with lucrative job opportunities but were ensnared in perilous circumstances instead.

An anonymous victim disclosed that he, along with two others, was recruited via a YouTube channel and transported to Russia in November 2023. Despite signing contracts for non-combat roles, they allegedly underwent weapons training and were dispatched to the war-torn region in January, as per the report's accounts.

"We encountered gunfire on 7-8 occasions," he recounted, recounting a particularly close encounter where a comrade lost his life. Although he managed to escape, he remains undocumented and fearful within Russia, according to the report.

"On November 13, we were taken to a camp and then transported to a remote location roughly two-and-a-half hours away from Moscow. We reached out to Indian agents who assured us of non-combat roles. We resided in tents and received weapon handling training. On January 4, we were sent to Donetsk for combat," he divulged, as cited in the report.

Narrating his escape, he mentioned discarding his weapon and being apprehended at gunpoint. "They forced me to transport goods between buildings. The commander instructed us to maintain a five-meter gap while walking to avoid becoming easy targets. During this brief journey, we encountered gunfire 7 to 8 times, resulting in the death of a local companion. On January 22, I managed to flee and sought treatment for frostbite injuries in a hospital," the victim narrated, as reported by The Hindu.

While some Indians volunteered to join Ukraine's International Legion, this incident marks the first documented case of Indians coerced into fighting for Russia. The families attribute the deception to an agent named Faisal Khan and claim that pleas to the Indian Embassy in Moscow have gone unanswered, the report added.

Although the Embassy refrained from commenting on this specific case, they acknowledged their efforts in addressing complaints. However, they noted challenges posed by individuals who opt to remain abroad despite precarious circumstances.

This incident underscores concerns regarding the exploitation and dissemination of false information targeting vulnerable Indians seeking employment opportunities overseas. The families implore the government to take prompt measures to ensure the safe repatriation of these individuals.

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