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New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday informed that two Indian nationals, who were recruited by the Russian Army, were killed in the Ukraine conflict. “Our Embassy in Moscow has pressed the Russian authorities, including the Ministry of Defense, for early repatriation of mortal remains,” it said.

According to an official statement, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian embassy in Moscow have strongly taken up the matter with the Russian Ambassador in New Delhi and with Russian authorities in Moscow respectively and have sought the early release and return of all Indian nationals who are with the Russian Army.

India has also demanded that there be a verified stop to any further recruitment of our nationals by the Russian Army, warning that such activities “would not be in consonance” with the partnership between the two countries. “We also urge Indian nationals to exercise caution while seeking employment opportunities in Russia,” the ministry further said.

Indians duped into joining Russian Army

Earlier, at least two Indians have been killed in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. A 30-year-old man identified as Mohammed Asfan from Hyderabad was reportedly killed in March. A 23-year-old youth, Hemil Ashvinbhai Mangukiya from Gujarat’s Surat, was killed in a drone attack in Donetsk before that.

Indian authorities had launched an investigation into agencies that recruited Indians to go to war-torn Ukraine after luring them with the promise of lucrative jobs in Russia. The Central government had been making efforts to bring back all Indians stranded in the conflict zone, and procedures were underway to take legal action against the agencies that recruited them.

MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal had earlier acknowledged that the ministry was aware that some Indians were recruited by some agents who later duped them into combating their role in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

“We are aware that a few Indian nationals have signed up for support jobs with the Russian army. The Indian Embassy has regularly taken up this matter with the relevant Russian authorities for their early discharge. We urge all Indian nationals to exercise due caution and stay away from this conflict,” said an MEA spokesperson in an official statement.

Mohammad Sufiyan and Hemil Ashvinbhai Mangukiya are one of the many youths who were allegedly duped by some agents and drafted into fighting for Russia in the ongoing conflict against Ukraine. Sufiyan’s family has urged the central government as well as the Ministry of External Affairs to safely evacuate the youths trapped in Russia and also take strict action against the agents.

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