Lured with high-paying jobs, 3 Malayalis battle for life in Russia-Ukraine warzone

Thiruvananthapuram: Three youths hailing from Kerala found themselves stuck in conflict-ridden Ukraine after falling for the promise of secure employment opportunities abroad.

The stranded Malayalis are Tinu Paniyadima, Prince Sebastian and Vineeth Silva, hailing from Anchuthengu.

Attingal NDA candidate and Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, visited their families and promised them that all efforts would be taken to bring them back.

Responding to the reports, Muraleedharan said the Indian government had been aware of the issue for some time and was in talks with Russian counterparts to make arrangements for their return.

“We have been repeatedly and firmly making that demand during discussions at various levels,” he added.

The Union Minister further stated that many individuals who travelled to Russia did not follow the proper channels. Instead, they were lured there by fraudulent 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.

One of these men, Prince, was reportedly shot directly in the head. Though he is recovering after the surgery, he has sustained injuries to his leg. Two others are still at the war front, according to a report.

Family members said they were taken to Russia by a recruitment agency promising a job that would pay a salary of Rs 2.5 lakh per month. They had spent around seven lakhs to reach Russia. Once they reached there, their passports and mobile phones were taken away. They also alleged that a Malayali agent from Thumba deceived them into accepting this offer.

Similarly, many Indian citizens from different parts of the country were also lured and recruited by the Russian army. A CBI investigation is also in progress regarding this human trafficking network. During this investigation, these family members realised the youngsters were also trapped in a similar manner. They also added that they realised it when one of them got injured in the war and managed to contact the family.

With a broken heart, these parents are wishing for their safe arrival. While speaking to a TV channel, they said, “We just want our boys to be brought back home safe as soon as possible.”

These family members have also filed a complaint with the Chief Minister. All these men were around 24 to 25 years of age and were from the fishermen’s communities in the state.

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