Three duped Indians injured in Russia-Ukraine warzone

23 February,2024 06:48 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Faizan Khan

Hundreds of Indians stuck in different red zones in Russia are forced into wielding weapons against the Ukrainian army

(From left) Ahmed Zahoor, Arbab Husain and Asfan in Russia

Key Highlights

Three Indians from different states have been injured in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. They were allegedly lured under the guise of securing jobs as helpers but were subsequently transferred to red-zone border areas. Sources claim that one person was struck by a sniper shot, another was hit by two bullets in the legs, and the third who sustained minor injuries, managed to escape, and is currently hospitalised. It's been a month since the third man contacted his family, while the two others have been unreachable since December. One of those on the battlefield said around 200 Indians are currently trapped in different red zone areas, compelled to wield weapons against the Ukrainian army.

The situation is fast deteriorating, with the Indian embassy allegedly not taking any action to evacuate these individuals. Sources have also said that the youth from Mumbai is also not reachable but he has reached a safe zone in Moscow. mid-day had reported on Thursday how multiple unemployed youths were lured by a YouTuber promising helper jobs in Russia, only to find themselves in conflict zones upon arrival, forced to fight against the Ukrainian army. The report also detailed the experiences of three friends: Mohammed Asfan from Hyderabad, Zahoor Ahmed from Kashmir, and Arbab Husain from Uttar Pradesh, who were all enticed by the same group of YouTubers.

Mumbai resident Iliyas with his two friends Mohammed Sameer Ahmed and Sufiyan Mohammed

An eyewitness, who contacted mid-day, stated that all three friends were injured, with Arbab and Asfan currently hospitalised. The eyewitness confirmed that Asfan and Ahmed were both hit by bullets, with Asfan sustaining injuries to his leg from two bullets, while Ahmed was hit by a sniper shot and fell down and didn't respond. "Arbab managed to escape when Ahmed didn't respond, and Asfan was taken to the hospital, but his current condition is unknown. We are praying for Ahmed," said a source in Russia under anonymity, who has been caring for Arbab.

Tahir from Gujarat (right) Russian army officer (middle) and one Sarfaraz (left)

Speaking to mid-day, Arbab said, "We applied for the job through BABA blogs, believing it was a government helper position. We couldn't read the agreement as it was in Russian. Upon arrival, we were coerced into joining the army. We feel deceived and tricked. The situation is dire; Zahoor and Asfan are still in the border area, injured. I managed to escape. We urgently require government assistance." A source from Russia informed mid-day that they have been in touch with Mumbai resident Ilyas and have successfully evacuated him from the conflict area. Currently, Ilyas is in a safe zone in Moscow.

Surendar Paul from Kashmir and Prabin Lamba from Darjeeling

mid-day attempted to contact his family in Mumbai, but they did not respond. Another family from Surat reached out to mid-day, expressing concern about their son, Hemil Mangukiya, who has been unreachable in Russia for the past two days.

Hyderabad resident Mohammed Asfan; Zahoor Ahmed from Kashmir; Arbab Husain from Uttar Pradesh

"I spoke to my son two days ago, and he is currently out of reach. He mentioned being in a safe zone with 10-12 other Indians. He has been stuck there since December 2023, and despite writing to the Indian embassy in Moscow, we have received no response," Hemil's father said. AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi demanded arrest of all agents who lured unemployed youths to Russia, only to have them stationed at red zone areas in the war-torn country.

Faisal Khan, Mumbai-based agent

Month in 2023 since Hemil is stuck in Russia

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