[video] Russia illegally drafts Indian nationals and sends them to war in Ukraine

Seven Indians complain in a video they were forced to fight against Ukrainians.

Seven Indian citizens published a video message in which they said they were being forced to fight for Russia in Ukraine. 

They allegedly came to Russia to celebrate the New Year at the end of December 2023. Then, the travel agent suggested that they also visit Belarus, to which they agreed. In the neighboring country they were detained by the border officials.

“We didn’t know we needed a visa. When we arrived in Belarus, the agent asked us for money and then disappeared,” one of the Indians said.

Later they were handed over to the police and the authorities forced them to sign a number of papers, which were falsely referred to as deportation orders.

Since these documents were written in Russian, Indian citizens didn’t understand their meaning, but still signed, citing threats that the alternative to military service in the Russian army could be imprisonment for up to 10 years.

“Now we are forced to fight in the war against Ukraine,” they say.

The seven Indians received a two-week military training and were then sent to a combat zone in Ukraine. They did not disclose the location.

The government in New Delhi is said to be working for “early discharge” of some 20 Indian citizens from the Russian armed forces. The Defense Ministry in Moscow has not commented on the incident.

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