Two more Indian nationals killed in Russia-Ukraine conflict

NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, Jun 11 (PTI) India on Tuesday said two of its nationals, who were recruited by the Russian Army, have recently been killed in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, taking the number of such deaths to four.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India has strongly taken up the matter with Russia and sought early release and return of all Indian nationals who are with the Russian Army.

In a firmly-worded statement, it said India has demanded that there be a "verified stop to any further recruitment of Indian nationals by the Russian Army" and that such activities would not be in "consonance with our partnership".

"We regret to state that two Indian nationals who had been recruited by the Russian Army have recently been killed in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine," the MEA said.

"We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased. Our embassy in Moscow has pressed the Russian authorities, including the Ministry of Defence, for early repatriation of mortal remains," it said.

In March this year, 30-year-old Hyderabad resident Mohammed Asfan succumbed to injuries sustained while serving with Russian troops on the frontlines with Ukraine.

In February, Hemal Ashwinbhai Mangua, a 23-year-old resident of Surat in Gujarat, died in a Ukrainian air strike while serving as a "security helper" in the Donetsk region.

"The Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian embassy in Moscow have strongly taken up the matter with the Russian Ambassador in New Delhi and with Russian authorities in Moscow respectively, for early release and return of all Indian nationals who are with the Russian Army," the MEA said.

The statement by the MEA came hours after Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra attended the Russian National Day reception at the Russian embassy.

According to reports, around 200 Indian nationals were recruited as security helpers in the Russian military.

A total of 10 Indians working as support staff with the Russian military have been released and repatriated to India, according to officials. PTI MPB RT RT RT RT