Two Indians killed fighting for Russian military in Ukraine

Two Indian men recruited by the Russian army have been killed in Ukraine, India’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

India said further recruitment of its nationals by Russia would "not be in consonance" with their bilateral partnership and demanded a “verified stop”.

The ministry urged its citizens to "exercise caution" while seeking employment in Russia amid reports that dozens of Indians had been duped by agents into fighting for the Russian military.

"We regret to state that two Indian nationals recruited by the Russian Army have recently been killed in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine," the ministry said in a statement, without identifying them.

Russia has not made a statement. Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson for India’s foreign ministry, said Moscow has been urged to quickly discharge and ensure the return of Indian nationals working for the Russian military.

He said around 20 people had sought help to return to their country.

The Indian embassy in Moscow has pressed the Russian defence ministry for early repatriation of the mortal remains of the two victims, Mr Jaiswal said.

Two Indian citizens were also killed fighting in Ukraine in March.

Mohammed Asfan, a clothes seller from Hyderabad city had travelled to Russia via Dubai in November seeking work, and ended up with the Russian military in Ukraine. His family claimed he had been “duped” by an agent in the Middle East and did not know he would be fighting on the frontline, where he was killed.

Hemil Ashvinbhai Mangukiya from Surat city was killed in a Ukrainian air strike.

The Hindu previously reported that more than 100 Indian nationals have been recruited in the Russian military to fight in the war zones, with many of them conned by agents into working as “army security helpers”.

In May, Indian police arrested four people allegedly linked to an international human trafficking ring involved in tricking workers into fighting in the Ukraine war by offering them lucrative jobs.