Kerala opposition leader demands Union government action to bring back youths forced into Russia-Ukraine war

The Congress leader demanded measures for the safe return of the three youths from Kerala trapped in the war zone.

BySouth First Desk

Published Mar 25, 2024 | 4:34 PMUpdatedMar 25, 2024 | 4:34 PM

Kerala youths Russia

Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan sent a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday, 25 March, seeking immediate intervention from the Union government to ensure the safe return of youths recruited by private agencies to the Russian army.

In the letter, the Congress leader demanded measures for the safe return of the three youths from Kerala trapped in the war zone and an investigation against the recruitment agencies that are a part of the human trafficking network.

“I urge your good self to make every effort to bring back all of those who are stuck in the combat zone and to initiate a comprehensive investigation against these recruitment agencies that form part of a large illegal trafficking network,” he said in the letter.

Also Read: 3 Kerala men conned, trained for 2 weeks, forced to fight war in Russia

‘Shocking revelation’

Satheesan termed as shocking the “revelation” that some private recruitment companies in Kerala have been recruiting young people to go to war-battered Ukraine after tempting them with the prospect of lucrative employment in Russia.

“It is disturbing to learn that three young men from Kerala are among those stranded in war-torn Ukraine after being lured with the promise of lucrative employment in Russia, only to be forced to engage in the continuing conflict,” the letter said.

According to the relatives of the three men, he said, they were taken to Russia by a recruitment agency with the promise of a whopping salary of ₹2.5 lakh.

“But when they arrived, their passports and mobile phones were confiscated and they were then forced to fight for Russia against Ukraine. It is learnt that some of them are injured and their families back home have raised serious apprehension about the safety of the youths stranded in Ukraine,” Satheesan said.

The Congress leader said he believes that this is part of a trafficking network that entices young men to work in Russia and then sends them to war.

Also Read: Body of Hyderabad man duped into working as ‘helper’ for Russian army reaches home

‘Launched an investigation’

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Sunday that authorities have launched an investigation into agencies that recruited Indians to go to war-torn Ukraine after luring them with the promise of lucrative jobs in Russia.

He said the Union government is making all possible efforts to bring back all Indians stranded in the conflict zone, and procedures are underway to take legal action against the agencies that recruited them.

The youths have been identified as Prince, Vineeth, and Tinu who are related and hail from Anchuthengu in Thiruvananthapuram.

They reportedly travelled to Russia in January seeking work. But their families in Kerala now say that the three found themselves on the frontlines of a conflict they never signed up for.

According to the families, the trio had dreams of making a better life abroad but fell victim to the deceitful promises of a fraudulent recruiting agency.

They added that instead of finding jobs, the trio found themselves amidst the chaos and danger of the Ukraine war, taking part in combats they never imagined.

While an official confirmation is yet to come on the incident, it seems the youths joined many others from various parts of the nation who ended up as fighters for Russia after being lured by the temptations of lucrative job opportunities there.

(With PTI inputs)