Russia says it didn't want to recruit Indians in Russian Army: 'Purely commercial'

Russia's Charge d'affaires Roman Babushkin stated that Moscow never intended for Indians to be part of its Army and that their numbers are insignificant in the broader context of the conflict.
Russia says it didn't want to recruit Indians in Russian Army: 'Purely commercial'
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue of Indians who were misled into joining the Russian Army, Moscow said that the recruitment was done for purely commercial reasons and they did not want Indians in the Russian Army. "They are there purely for commercial reasons and we did not want to recruit them," a Russian diplomat was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Several Indians were lured to Russia with the promise of lucrative jobs and ended up joining the Russian Army to fight against Ukraine. At least four Indian nationals have been killed in the war so far since the war started in February 2022.

PM Modi during his two-day visit to Moscow had brought up the issue during his informal talks with President Vladimir Putin. Following the high-level talks, Moscow agreed to discharge and facilitate the return of all Indians recruited into the Russian Army as support staff.

Russia's Charge d'affaires Roman Babushkin stated that Moscow never intended for Indians to be part of its Army and that their numbers are insignificant in the broader context of the conflict.

"To be clear, we have never wanted Indians in the Russian Army. There has never been any such announcement from Russian authorities," he stated.

The Russian diplomat claimed that most Indians were recruited under a commercial framework as they sought financial opportunities.

"The number of Indians, whether 50, 60, or 100, is insignificant in the larger conflict context," he said. "They are there purely for commercial reasons, and we did not seek to recruit them."

Babushkin added that most of the Indians working as support staff do so illegally without the appropriate visas, having entered Russia on tourist visas.

When asked about compensation and Russian citizenship for the families of those killed, Babushkin said that it "should happen anyway as per the contractual obligations."

At least four Indians have been killed so far, and about 35–50 recruits are believed to be in the Russian Army, while 10 have been allowed to return.

Following these deaths, the MEA demanded a "verified stop" to further recruitment of Indian nationals by the Russian Army, asserting that such activities would not align with the partnership between India and Russia.

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Russia says it didn't want to recruit Indians in Russian Army: 'Purely commercial'

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Source: India Today

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