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10 Indian nationals working in Russian Army have returned, says MEA

In a significant development, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) revealed on Thursday that 10 Indian nationals who were working as support staff in the Russian Army have returned to India.

During the weekly press briefing, MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal stated that the Indian government is actively pursuing the matter at various levels, and the Russian side has assured that the remaining Indians will also be released.

Addressing the weekly press conference, Jaiswal said, “As far as the question regarding Indian nationals is concerned, we are very actively pursuing these matters at various levels, including with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence and several other organizations there.

“We are committed to bringing back all the people who are so far who have gotten in touch with us and want to be released. 10 such individuals have come back to India. They have been released and they have returned home. We have been assured by the Russian side that the other Indians who are there, will also be released and they will return home,” he added.

The MEA spokesperson’s remarks come amid reports of Indian nationals being duped into fighting in the Russia-Ukraine war on the pretext of lucrative jobs. Notably, at least two Indians have died while serving in the Russian army, while around 20 others were allegedly trafficked to the war zone.

In a related development, Jaiswal revealed that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is currently in St. Petersburg, Russia, to attend the 12th international meeting of high-ranking officials responsible for security matters. Doval held several meetings on the sidelines of the event, including with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev and Chief Advisor to the Brazilian President, Celso Amorim.

Earlier, the MEA had stated that New Delhi is constantly in touch with Moscow authorities to have Indian nationals released and discharged from the Russian army as early as possible.

The CBI stated that these traffickers have been operating as an organised network and were luring Indian nationals through social media channels like YouTube, etc., and also through their local contacts and agents for highly paid jobs in Russia.

Thereafter, the trafficked Indian nationals were trained in combat roles and deployed at front bases in the Russia-Ukraine War zone against their wishes, thus, putting their lives in grave danger. It has been ascertained that some of the victims were also grievously injured in the war zone. The investigation is underway.

(Inputs from ANI)

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