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Two persons from Kerala forced into Russia-Ukraine war return home

Both the returnees said they found mutilated bodies everywhere.
Last Updated : 04 April 2024, 13:43 IST
Last Updated : 04 April 2024, 13:43 IST

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Thiruvananthapuram: Two persons from Kerala who returned home safe after being recruited into the Russian army by private agencies narrated their harrowing experience in the Russia-Ukraine war zone and urged authorities to help repatriate two others facing similar circumstances.

Prince and David Muthappan, two Thiruvananthapuram residents, returned to Kerala in the last two days.

Muthappan, who reached Thiruvananthapuram central railway station after giving his statement to Central government agencies in New Delhi, spoke to the media on Wednesday night.

They were forced to fight against the Ukrainian army in the ongoing war.

Muthappan said he never expected to return home alive.

"After receiving basic training, we were taken directly to the war front to commence fighting. Wherever we looked, we saw numerous bodies scattered around the area," Muthappan told the media.

Prince, who arrived a day earlier, said he was injured and was admitted to a Russian hospital for over 30 days.

He said two of his friends, Vineeth and Tinu, are still in the war zone.

"The situation was bad. We couldn't make calls due to the risk of signal tracking and potential missile strikes targeting those locations," Prince said.

The Anchuthengu native added he was injured and had to crawl over three kilometres to safety.

"After training, we were sent to the war front in three tanks. I was shot while Vineeth fell into a ditch and became safe. I somehow managed to reach him. We crawled for more than three kilometres and got admitted to a hospital," Prince added.

Both the returnees said they found mutilated bodies everywhere.

"We were given one month of training in various weapons, including the AK-47, RPG, grenades and smokers," Prince said.

He also said he paid Rs 7 lakh to a person called Priyan, who recruited them for the war zone after telling them it was a security personnel job.

Earlier, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said Indian government was taking efforts to bring back all Indians stranded in the conflict zone, and procedures were underway to take legal action against the agencies that recruited them.

Relatives of the men said they were taken to Russia by a recruitment agency with the promise of a whopping salary.

Earlier, Muraleedharan had said the authorities had 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.

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Published 04 April 2024, 13:43 IST

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