3 Kerala men in Ukraine-Russia conflict; Centre trying to bring them back: V Muraleedharan

Three young men from Kerala are stranded in war-torn Ukraine after being lured with promise of a lucrative job in the Russian army and then being allegedly forced to fight in the ongoing conflict there, with Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan saying all efforts are being made to bring them back. According to the families of the three men, they were taken to Russia by a recruitment agency with the promise of a huge salary of Rs 2.5 lakh and on reaching there, their passports and mobile phones were taken away.

Thereafter, they were made to fight for the Russian forces in Ukraine, they alleged.

The mothers of the men told a TV channel that they came to know what had happened when one of their sons got injured in the war there and managed to call back home.

“We just want our sons to be brought back home safe as soon as possible,” they said.

Reacting to the reports about the three men being stranded in Ukraine, Muraleedharan said the Indian government had been aware of the issue for some time and was in talks with Russia to make arrangements for the return of Indians who want to come back.

“We have been repeatedly and firmly making that demand during discussions at various levels,” he added. The Union Minister also said that many of those who went to Russia did not do so through proper or official channels and were taken there by fake recruitment agencies. “Investigation by CBI and other probe agencies is going on against such establishments and action has also been taken in some cases,” he said.

Muraleedharan said according to information the Central government has received, four people from Kerala were stranded there and steps were being taken to bring them back.

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