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MEA urges Indian nationals in Russia to stay away from Russia-Ukraine conflict amid reports of Indians being forced to fight for Russia

According to reports, numerous Indians who had signed up as "security helpers" for the Russian military were compelled to fight alongside Russian troops along the Ukrainian border.

The Indian government has urged the citizens not to get involved in the Russia-Ukraine conflict after reports surfaced that Indian nationals who got support positions with the Russian Army were forced to fight alongside Russian forces.

The External Affairs Ministry issued a statement on Friday (23rd February)  stating that “a few” Indians had joined up for support jobs with the Russian Army and that the Indian embassy in Moscow 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 Randhir Jaiswal, spokeswoman for the External Affairs Ministry, in a statement that made no direct mention of Ukraine. According to the government, the statement was released in response to media inquiries about “Indians caught in conflict in Russia”.

According to reports, numerous Indians who had signed up as “security helpers” for the Russian military were compelled to fight alongside Russian troops along the Ukrainian border. Indian citizens have also been stranded at many locations along the Russia-Ukraine border, including Mariupol, Kharkiv, and Rostov-on-Dov.

It has been reported that some Indian people were even killed.

Reportedly, the Indian government has also asked Russia to release Indians employed as support staff in the Russian military.

Earlier, there were claims that the Russian military had recruited up to 200 Nepalese troops. Nepal’s foreign ministry admitted in December that six Nepalese citizens serving in the Russian Army were killed in the conflict with Ukraine.

The Nepalese government has requested Russia not to recruit Nepalese citizens to its military and to return those who are currently serving.

The war that began with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 will begin its second year on Saturday. Since the start of the fighting, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has recorded 30,457 civilian casualties.

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