Seven Punjab Men Tricked into Joining Russian Army, Forced to Fight in Ukraine War; Seek Govt Help – News18

Curated By: News Desk
Last Updated: March 05, 2024, 21:07 IST
New Delhi, India
The men reportedly underwent 15 days of military training and were then sent to a place where there is active fighting. (File image via AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A group of young men from Hoshiarpur in Punjab are reaching out to the government for help, alleging that they got tricked into joining the military in Russia and were sent to fight in the Ukraine war.
In a brief 105-second video posted on X, seven men are seen wearing military-style jackets in a cramped and dirty room. Explaining their situation and appealing for assistance, Gagandeep Singh, one of them, shared that they initially went to Russia on December 27 to celebrate the New Year, having a 90-day visa. However, they later traveled to Belarus.
“An agent here offered to take us to Belarus… we were not aware we needed a visa. When we went to Belarus (without a visa) the agent asked us for more money and then abandoned us. The police caught us and handed us over to Russian authorities, who made us sign documents,” Gagandeep explained. Further adding, “Now they (Russia) are forcing us to fight in the war against Ukraine.”
According to a report in NDTV, Gagandeep’s family has contacted the Ministry of External Affairs. Amrit Singh, his brother, explained that the men felt pressured because they couldn’t understand the documents they signed. “They were made to join the army there because the papers they signed in Belarus were in Russian. The documents said they had to either go to jail for 10 years or join the Russian army,” Amrit said.
The men reportedly underwent 15 days of military training and were then sent to a place where there is active fighting.
The seven men shown in this video are part of a group of around two dozen Indian nationals facing challenges in Russia or dealing with the war directly. They all claim they were deceived into joining the Russian military.
There are growing reports indicating that people from different states in the country are being employed as mercenaries.
Earlier, News18 reported the plight of two individuals from Jammu and Kashmir, now serving as mercenaries for Russia on the frontlines in the conflict with Ukraine. Their families have reached out to the MEA, seeking assistance to bring them back.
Last week, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) told that at least 20 Indians are stuck in Russia, seeking release from the Russian army.
MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal informed the media that the Indian government is actively communicating with Russian authorities to bring these individuals back home.
Jaiswal also stressed that the government is doing its best to ensure their quick release. He also noted that Indians in Russia have been advised not to enter the war zone or find themselves in difficult situations.


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