Govt aims for swift return of Indians in Russian army

"We are trying our level best for their early discharge,” Jaiswal added.

MEA aims for swift return of Indians in Russian Army amid Ukraine tensions / Representative Image/ Wikicommons

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has informed that about 20 Indians are working as support staff for the Russian Army. 

On Feb.29, MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in a media briefing, "It is our understanding that there are 20 people who've gone there to work as support staff or as helpers with the Russian army. These are the people who have contacted us, and that is our understanding that this is the number that we have there."

"We are trying our level best for their early discharge,” Jaiswal added. He mentioned that the "20-odd people" contacted the Indian embassy in Moscow. Earlier this week, the External Affairs Ministry mentioned that several Indians were discharged from the Russian Army after their case was taken up by Indian authorities.

Reports suggest that these Indians were allegedly deceived into joining the Russian Army, enticed by promises of job opportunities. It is claimed that they were misled into signing documents with inadequate translations and were subjected to military training, contrary to their initial understanding.

“Every such case brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been strongly taken up with the Russian authorities,” he added. However, there is still no clarity on the exact number of Indians who have 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.

Calls for assistance have been made by various quarters, with All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and MP Asaduddin Owaisi and the Karnataka government approaching the 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 Ukraine war.