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Google Translate helps six Kerala youths escape Russian war service: Report

Before joining the service, they were told to sign a contract of one-year agreement. However, as it was written in Russian, they asked for some time to read the documents, for which they used Google Translate.
Last Updated : 07 April 2024, 10:35 IST
Last Updated : 07 April 2024, 10:35 IST

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Recently two of four Kerala based youths were stranded in Russia to fight a war against Ukraine after being recruited into the army by private agencies. They were injured in the war zone but managed to return to India.

The Hindu has now reported about six other youths from Kerala who managed to escape the situation with the help of Google Translate and avoided signing the contract that would have sent them to the frontlines of the Ukraine-Russia war.

They reached Russia on February 19 after getting a job offer 'in security' by an agent from Thiruvananthapuram.

Keeping his identity private, one of the six told The Hindu that the agent had previously trafficked four people to Russia.

The youth said that after reaching Moscow, a man took them to a military base in northeast Russia.

"During the journey to the base, we were told that we would man the army’s security installations and hence should undergo a three-week military training," he said.

He also mentioned that the man "charged each one of them his service charge" that ranged from $1,350 to $1,500 (Rs 112,445.55 to Rs 124,939.50 approximately.)

Before joining the service, they were told to sign a contract of one-year agreement. However, as it was written in Russian, they asked for some time to read the document.

With the help of Google Translate, they understood what they were getting into. He told The Hindu that, "It was clearly mentioned that we had been recruited to fight against the Ukraine army as frontline soldiers. Upon successful completion of the term, we would be offered permanent resident status in Russia and Russian passport, among other things."

Without any second thoughts, they tore the agreement papers and asked for their return to India. Soon after they contacted a sub agent back in Kerala, he told them not to sign any contract.

The agent arranged flight tickets for them, and they returned on February 26.

The report says that all of them belong to poor families and had borrowed money from people, which now they can't return.

"I can’t go home empty-handed as my father, an auto driver, had borrowed the money from a loan shark. Here, I am trying to find a job. Otherwise, my entire family will have to commit suicide," he said, who is now staying in Mumbai.

One of them, upon returning, did try to die by suicide as he had paid Rs 6 lakh to the agents, after which the sub agent gave him back only Rs 2.5 lakh.

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Published 07 April 2024, 10:35 IST

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