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India confirms citizens ‘signed up’ for Russian army

NEW DELHI (AFP) – India’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday that some of the country’s citizens had signed up for “support jobs” with the Russian army and said it was working with Moscow to secure their discharge.

The Hindu newspaper reported on Wednesday that around 18 Indians were stranded in border towns along the war in Ukraine. The Foreign Ministry did not confirm that Indians had taken combat roles in the conflict.

But it said in a statement that it was “aware that a few Indian nationals have signed up for support jobs with the Russian army”.

“The Indian Embassy has regularly taken up this matter with the relevant Russian authorities for their early discharge,” the statement.

“We urge all Indian nationals to exercise due caution and stay away from this conflict.”

The newspaper said that while some Indian nationals had reportedly volunteered for Ukrainian forces in the current conflict, this was the first known instance of their alleged involvement on the other side.

File photo shows people at a military-patriotic festival in Saint Petersburg, Russia. PHOTO: AFP