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India is constantly in touch with Russian authorities to have Indian nationals released and discharged from the Russian army as early as possible, Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in a press briefing on Thursday.

Asked about update on Indians who were duped by agents and sent to Russia to join the military, Randhir Jaiswal stated, “Regarding Russia, as I told you earlier also, we are constantly in touch with Russian authorities. We have taken it up strongly for them to have our nationals released and discharged as early as possible.”

“I will have an update for you, and as and when I have an update for you, I will keep you informed. On the death count, we know last time also I had told you that two people have passed away. Their dead bodies have come to India. and have been sent to their family members. So, the death count is where two people had passed away, died in the conflict,” he added.

Notably, at least two Indians have died while serving in the Russian army against Ukraine, as around 20 others were allegedly duped into fighting in Russia’s war with Ukraine on the pretext of lucrative jobs.

Recently, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), busted a major human trafficking network running across the country targeting Indian nationals on the promise of offering lucrative jobs abroad but allegedly sending them to the Russia-Ukraine war zone. The central agency is conducting simultaneous searches at around 13 locations in Delhi, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Ambala, Chandigarh, Madurai and Chennai.

The CBI stated that these traffickers have been operating as an organised network and were luring Indian nationals through social media channels like YouTube, etc and also through their local contacts/agents for highly paid jobs in Russia.

Thereafter, the trafficked Indian nationals were trained in combat roles and deployed at front bases in the Russia-Ukraine War zone against their wishes, thus, putting their lives in grave danger. It has been ascertained that some of the victims were also grievously injured in the war zone.Certain suspects have also been detained for questioning at various locations.

So far, around 35 instances of victims sent abroad have been established. The identity of more trafficking victims is also being established. The investigation is still underway. Meanwhile, an appeal has been made to the general public not to fall prey to such false promises of jobs by dubious recruitment agencies and agents.