• Thursday, July 25, 2024

INDIA

India calls for release of its nationals serving in Russian Army

Confirming the deaths of the two Indians, the MEA stated on Tuesday that India has strongly taken up the matter with Russia.

The Russia-Ukraine war began in 2014, however, the major escalation came on February 24, 2022, when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

INDIA’S foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Wednesday (12) that they have been pressing Russia to ensure the safety and repatriation of its nationals employed by the Russian Army.

This announcement came a day after India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) reported that two more Indians serving with the Russian military were killed in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, bringing the total number of Indian deaths to four.

“Since the first day, we have constantly been discussing this matter with the Russian authorities, the system, and the leadership,” Kwatra said.

“All of our efforts are aimed at keeping the Indians safe,” he added at a media briefing, responding to a question on the matter. “We have clearly told the Russian officials that all Indians in the war zone, however they got there is another matter, should be returned (to India).”

Confirming the deaths of the two Indians, the MEA stated on Tuesday that India has strongly taken up the matter with Russia and sought the early release and return of all Indian nationals in the Russian Army.

In a strongly-worded statement, it said India has demanded a “verified stop to any further recruitment of Indian nationals by the Russian Army” and stated that such activities are not in “consonance with our partnership.”

The Foreign Secretary emphasised that New Delhi has taken the issue very seriously.

The government has taken immediate action upon receiving information about “Indians in the war zone.”

Kwatra said, “We have contacted their families, examined how the individual reached (Russia), and asked Russian authorities to respond and this will continue.”

In March, 30-year-old Hyderabad resident Mohammed Asfan succumbed to injuries sustained while serving with Russian troops on the frontlines with Ukraine.

In February, Hemal Ashwinbhai Mangua, a 23-year-old resident of Surat in Gujarat, died in a Ukrainian air strike while serving as a “security helper” in the Donetsk region.

The Russia-Ukraine war began in 2014, however, the major escalation came on February 24, 2022, when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since then, there have been massive casualties on both sides.

Officials report that a total of 10 Indians working as support staff with the Russian military have been released and repatriated to India.

Reports indicate that around 200 Indian nationals were recruited as security helpers in the Russian military.

 

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