Russia To Discharge Indians From Army After PM Raises It With Putin

Moscow:  Russia has agreed to discharge all Indians working in the Russian army after Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue with President Vladimir Putin during his Moscow visit, said sources.

At least two Indians have died fighting Russia’s war against Ukraine while dozens stuck in the war zone claim they were tricked into taking up the fighting role.

PM Modi, who is in Moscow for a two-day visit, raised the issue at a private dinner hosted by Putin last evening, sources said. Russia agreed to discharge all Indians serving in their army and facilitate their return, they added.

At the dinner meet, Putin also congratulated PM Modi for being re-elected for a third term and spoke about the rising stature of the Indian economy, sources said.

Nearly two dozen Indians are believed to have been forced into fighting the war against Ukraine after being tricked by agents into going to the country on the pretext of getting high-paying jobs.

A viral video earlier this year showed a group of men from Punjab and Haryana – wearing army uniforms – claiming they were tricked into fighting the war in Ukraine and doubling down on their request for help.

The government in March said they had “strongly” taken up the matter with Russian authorities for their early discharge. “Strong action has been initiated against agents and unscrupulous elements who recruited them on false pretexts and promises,” they said.

Indian probe agencies have also carried out raids and busted a ring involved in trafficking Indians to Russia. During the raids, it emerged that these firms sent at least 35 Indians to Russia, though an official said it was not clear if all of them were forced to fight in the war.