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Two more Indians collaborating with the Russian army were killed in Ukraine

New Delhi: Two more Indian nationals working with Russian troops as support staff have been killed in the conflict zone in Ukraine, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi.

The killing of two more Indian citizens in Ukraine has prompted New Delhi to once again call on the country’s citizens to exercise caution when seeking employment opportunities in Russia.

The government also strongly contacted Moscow’s envoy to New Delhi, Denis Alipov, on this matter and asked him to ensure the early release and return of Indians cooperating with Russian army units in Ukraine.

“We regret to inform you that two Indian citizens who were recruited by the Russian army have recently died in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” the MEA said in a press release issued on Tuesday. “We express our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased. Our embassy in Moscow pressed the Russian authorities, including the Ministry of National Defense, for the early repatriation of the bodies.”

Earlier, in February and March this year, two Indians – Mohammed Afsan from Hyderabad and Hemil Ashvinbhai Mangukiya from Surat – were killed while working with Russian army units in Ukraine as support staff.

In early March, the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted raids at 15 locations in seven cities and busted a human trafficking racket that recruited young people from India to work in Russia and sent them to former Soviet countries where they were forced to work as members of support staff Russian Army on the battlefields of Ukraine.

Earlier this year, the government said that “20 people” working as support staff of the Russian army had contacted New Delhi’s diplomatic mission in Moscow and efforts were underway to obtain their “early release.” However, this number increased later when the Indian Embassy in Moscow learned about several more Indians who found themselves in a similar situation with Russian army units in Ukraine.

Following the recent death of two more Indians, 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 the Russian authorities in Moscow respectively, seeking early release and return of all Indian nationals who are in the Russian army.

India has also demanded a confirmed cessation of further recruitment of our citizens by the Russian army. “Such actions would not be in line with our partnership,” New Delhi told Moscow.

MEA urges Indian citizens to exercise caution while seeking job opportunities in Russia.

Published June 11, 2024, 18:57 IST