Several Indians went on tourist visas to Russia and now their families have started receiving body bags. “The village is in mourning”

Several Indians went on tourist visas to Russia and now their families have started receiving body bags. “The village is in mourning”
Several Indians went on tourist visas to Russia and now their families have started receiving body bags. “The village is in mourning”
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Date of update: 04/03/2024 17:56
The date of publishing:

04/03/2024 12:36 p.m

Several Indians who went to Russia on tourist visas in the hope of finding work claim they were forced to fight for the Russian army in Ukraine. PHOTO Capture video

Several Indians who went to Russia on tourist visas in the hope of finding work claim they were forced to fight for the Russian army in Ukraine. Their families spoke to Sky News about the war they unwittingly ended up fighting. They signed contracts of the Russian Ministry of Defense without knowing what they were about and were sent to the front line, from where they have little hope of returning alive.

Arriving in Russia on tourist visas, the men from India were arrested by Russian authorities for allegedly violating visa laws and told to either serve a year in the Russian army or face 10 years in prison.

Their phones and passports were confiscated and they were taken to a military camp where they were forced to sign a contract in Russian. After 15 days of training, they were sent into battle.

Ravi’s older brother Ajay, 20, who is fighting on the front line, told Sky News: “He was tricked, he was supposed to be a helper and they forced him into the war in Ukraine. This is cheating. He was made to sign a contract in Russian that he didn’t understand, they were told they either go to prison for 10 years or fight in the war. They had no choice.”

Sky News has sought comment from the Russian embassy in Delhi but has yet to receive a response.

The family of 20-year-old Sahil are desperate, with the latest news of the young man being in hospital after being injured. “We are desperate, we are all sick thinking about him,” says older brother Aman, who showed a Sky News reporter a copy of the medical report. “He had found a job in the army, but he didn’t know he would be sent to war. He was injured by a bomb dropped from a drone. As soon as he is healed, he will be sent back to the front line. After that, there’s no going back.”

For Jaiveer, waiting for a call from his younger brother Baldev, who is on the front lines in Luhansk, is excruciating.

“We had to keep this a secret from his wife. There is only sadness at home. The whole village is in mourning. Every time we talk, they are begging us to bring him back. It is too dangerous,” said Vikram, the elder brother of Rajendra, who fights alongside Baldev.

Many of those in this desperate situation are poor people from small towns, where unemployment, falling incomes and a struggling rural economy have forced many to seek a chance at a better life abroad.

Families sold land and borrowed money to help them leave.

It is not known exactly how many Indians we are talking about, but there could be dozens, writes Sky News.

The Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “We are pressing the Russian authorities to release our people stuck there. We have also told our citizens not to venture into the war zone and avoid being caught in difficult situations. We are in permanent contact with the Russian authorities both here in New Delhi and in Moscow.”

Meanwhile, families begin to receive the bodies of those killed on the front. Last month, Hemil Mangukiya from Surat and Mohammad Asfan from Hyderabad were killed in the front line.

Ajay shows a 90-second video of his brother Ravi, who is in a tank amid the explosions. “There’s no way you’re going to survive this bombardment. I hear the explosions all around me. We’re stuck here, there’s no escape, there’s no way to escape the drone bombs,” he said in the recording.

It’s been three weeks since Ajay hasn’t heard from his brother.

Meanwhile, Sky News received a video message sent from the Zaporozhye region by 19-year-old Harsh Kumar: “We are on the front line in Ukraine, stuck in the Russian army. I just finished a 10 day mission on the front line and it’s very dangerous. You might not even find our bodies. After two days we will be sent back. Please get us out of here. We again appeal to the Indian government to get us out of here.”

The families say the men were not paid by the Russian ministry, but that is the last thing on their minds now. All they want is for them to come back, and with each passing day the wait becomes more and more excruciating.

Publisher: GM

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The article is in Romanian

Tags: Indians tourist visas Russia families started receiving body bags village mourning

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