Over a dozen Indian youths deceptively sent to fight Russia-Ukraine war

Instead of being chosen for promised security guard jobs, all of them were dispatched to Mariupol, Kharkiv, and Donetsk to participate in the ongoing war. Asaduddin Owaisi writes to Minister for External Affairs.

Over a dozen Indian youths deceptively sent to fight Russia-Ukraine war

HYDERABAD: Over a dozen Indians, including at least two youths from Telangana, found themselves stranded at the Russia-Ukraine war front, having fallen victim to local agents who deceitfully sent them to Russia under the false pretense of providing security guard jobs. Instead, all of them were dispatched to Mariupol, Kharkiv, and Donetsk to participate in the ongoing war. Tragically, some sustained bullet injuries, and at least one fatality was reported.

The distressing incident was brought to light by AIMIM President and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on January 25. He had addressed letters to External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and the Ambassador of the Embassy of India in Moscow, urgently seeking assistance for three Hyderabad youths who had been uncontactable for nearly a month.

Owaisi had identified the stranded individuals as Mohammed Asfan, Arbab Hussain, and Zahoor Ahmed. Initially traveling to Russia for job opportunities, they claimed to have been misled by Indian agents and coerced into joining Russia's private army. The families of those youths were distressed as there had been no communication with them for 25 days.

While Asfan was from Hyderabad, Arbab hailed from Uttar Pradesh, Zahoor was from Jammu & Kashmir, and another youth, Hemal, was from Gujarat.

Despite receiving no response from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on this issue, four more families wrote to Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday (February 20) seeking help for the safe return of their children from Russia. The modus operandi employed by agents in these cases closely resembled the earlier instances.

According to the parents, Syed Ilyas Hussaini, Mohammed Sameer Ahmed, and Abdul Nayeem from Kalaburagi in Karnataka, along with Mohammed Sufiyan from Telangana, went to Russia on tourist visas on December 18, 2023, seeking better opportunities. They alleged that an agent named Faisal Khan from Maharashtra, running a YouTube channel called Baba Vlogs, falsely promised security/helper jobs in a Russian city. However, the youths were enrolled in the Russian private army called Wegnor and later deployed in conflict zones after basic training in handling arms.

One of them reportedly managed to escape and was admitted to a hospital for the treatment of bullet injuries.

The families claimed that the agent provided misinformation about the job, contract period, and duty location. Despite assurances that the contract could be cancelled, the youths were now allegedly stuck in a perilous situation on the Ukraine-Russian border. One of these youths reportedly suffered injuries in the conflict.

The families were desperate for assistance, asserting that the agent, Faisal Khan, was unresponsive to their inquiries. They called for urgent action to ensure the safe return of the stranded youths to India.

AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi urged the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the Embassy of India in Moscow to consider the case sympathetically and facilitate the return of the stranded youths to their families.

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