Indians Deceived into Combat Roles in Russia’s War

Three Indians, promised 'army security helper' roles in Russia, forced into combat on Ukraine border

Indians Deceived into Combat Roles in Russia’s War

Three Indians, initially hired as "army security helpers" in Russia, were forced into combat alongside Russian forces on the Ukraine border, sparking alarm.

The victims, hailing from states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Punjab, were promised lucrative positions but ended up ensnared in a perilous situation.

A Hyderabad victim's family reached out to AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who then contacted the Indian Embassy in Moscow and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on January 25, seeking assistance for their return.

According to statements provided to The Hindu, one victim, who chose to remain anonymous, disclosed that he and two others were recruited through a YouTube channel run by an individual named Faisal Khan. After they arrived in Russia in November 2023, they were ostensibly trained for non-combat duties but were abruptly thrust into the conflict zone in January, following a brief period of instruction.

The victim recounted harrowing experiences of facing enemy fire multiple times and witnessing the death of a comrade. Despite attempts to flee, he was apprehended and coerced into dangerous tasks at gunpoint before eventually escaping and seeking medical aid for frostbite injuries sustained during his ordeal.

While some Indians have willingly joined Ukraine's International Legion to combat Russian forces, this marks the first instance of Indians allegedly forced into combat on Russia's behalf. The victims' families have implored authorities for intervention, highlighting the failure of pleas to the Indian Embassy in Moscow.

The incident underscores broader concerns regarding the exploitation and manipulation of vulnerable individuals seeking employment opportunities abroad.

As calls for government action escalate, there is mounting pressure to ensure the safety and repatriation of these stranded individuals.