Indian Workers ‘Forced’ To Fight Russia’s War, Owaisi Urges Jaishankar To Bring Them Back

After reports of Russia using a private army and recruiting prisoners to fight its war against Ukraine, a shocking revelation has emerged that many Indian workers are being forced to fight on Russia’s side in the Russia-Ukraine war.

According to The Hindu report, at least three Indians were compelled to join Russian forces after being deceived by an agent who had initially sent them there under the guise of working as “army security helpers”.

The publication cited an agent stating that as of November 2023, approximately 18 Indians have been deployed across various areas along the Russia-Ukraine border, with one of them having been killed in combat.

While a few Indians volunteered to join the International Legion established to combat Russian forces in Ukraine in 2022, it is the first reported instance of Indians being present on the Russian side in a combat role.

The family of one of the victims, hailing from Hyderabad, has sought assistance from AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi. Regarding this, Owaisi wrote to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and the Indian Embassy in Moscow, urging the government to intervene and facilitate their return.

Owaisi urged Jaishankar again on Wednesday to use his office to bring these men back home.

Indians stranded in Russia belong to Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir.

Coerced into fighting at gunpoint

The report cited one of the victims, speaking anonymously, stating that three of them received basic training in handling arms and ammunition from the “Russian Army” and were then sent to Rostov-on-Don along the Russia-Ukraine border in January, where they encountered gunfire and were coerced into fighting at gunpoint.

They arrived in Russia in November 2023, prior to which they signed a contract stating that they were being employed as army security assistants.

Salaries not paid

They were assured that they would not be deployed to the battlefield and were promised a salary of ₹1.95 lakhs per month along with an additional ₹50,000 bonus. However, apart from the bonus, they were not paid their salaries.

The victims were deprived of access to phones for several days and only managed to contact their families after escaping the war zone.

Pleas to Embassy in vain

One victim claimed that despite multiple pleas, the Indian Embassy in Moscow took no action to rescue them.

The victim also disclosed that he traveled to Russia with the assistance of an agent named Faisal Khan, who operates a YouTube channel titled “Baba Vlogs”.

On November 12, the resident of Uttar Pradesh was received in Russia by two Indian agents associated with Faisal Khan.

The following day, the victims were admitted to a camp and transported to a remote location approximately two and a half hours away from Moscow. They resided in tents and underwent training in weapon handling. On January 4, they were dispatched to Donetsk to engage in combat.

Risk of life

One of the agents who received the victims in Russia informed The Hindu that these men belong to different regions of India and are at significant risk to their lives if the government fails to take action.

“They were offered positions as army assistants. The agreement stipulated that they would undergo basic training for three months, followed by psychological assessments and other tests to determine their willingness to continue in roles such as kitchen helpers or other tasks. However, after only a month, their passports were confiscated, and they were compelled to fight on behalf of Russia. Individuals from other countries are also stranded here,” the agent explained.

Who is Faizal Khan aka ‘Baba’

After this report was published, a video of YouTuber Faisal Khan has started circulating on social media. In the video, Faisal is showing the documents of the Indian whom he sent to work for the Russian army.

We visited Faizal’s YouTube channel named Baba Vlogs. Faizal has uploaded close to 200 videos related to job vacancies in foreign countries. In one of the videos, he claims to have experience working in foreign countries despite having an educational qualification up to the sixth standard.

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