Russia offers compensation and citizenship to kin of Indians killed in Ukraine war 

Families of Indians stuck in Russia want time-bound assurance on when they would be released

Updated - July 09, 2024 10:09 pm IST

Published - July 09, 2024 09:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Indians, hired as security helpers, have been forced to fight alongside the Russian Army against Ukraine. Photo: Special Arrangement

Indians, hired as security helpers, have been forced to fight alongside the Russian Army against Ukraine. Photo: Special Arrangement

As Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s request for early discharge of Indians hired as security helpers and forced to fight alongside the Russian Army against Ukraine, it has emerged that Moscow is offering a compensation package and citizenship to the families of the deceased.

Meanwhile, the families of those stuck in Russia are demanding a time-bound assurance on when they would be discharged as it has been more than six months that their relatives have been stuck in the war zone.

Months after his son was killed in a Ukrainian airstrike in Russia, Ashvinbhai Mangukiya from Gujarat said that he was willing to accept Russian citizenship.

“What is there in India? We are ready to move to Russia if everything falls in place. I am ready to give up Indian citizenship,” Mr. Mangukiya told The Hindu. India does not allow dual citizenship.

His son, Hemil Mangukiya, 23, who was hired as a helper for the Russian Army, was forced to participate in the ongoing war. He was killed on February 21 at Donetsk on the Russia-Ukraine border during a firing exercise with the Russian Army.

Mr. Mangukiya travelled to Russia to get his son’s body in March, when he was informed that the family is entitled to a compensation of ₹1.3 crore, Russian citizenship, and a monthly stipend of ₹18,000 for minor children till they turn 18.

“They made us open a bank account in Russia. Already, ₹45 lakh has been deposited in the account. My son was unmarried. I will have to travel to Russia a couple of times more to get the citizenship process under way,” Mr. Mangukiya said.

At least four Indians, including Hemil, have been killed in the ongoing war, while two are said to be missing. The bodies of only two of the deceased — Hemil and Mohammed Asfan, 31, from Hyderabad — have been brought back to India. At least 50 Indians are said to be serving in the Russian Army, and around 30 of them have approached the government to return.

The Hindu reported first on February 20 that Indians who travelled to Russia on tourist visas were offered jobs as security helpers but were forced to fight alongside the Russian military on the Russia-Ukraine border.

Asfan’s brother, Mohammad Imran, said they had also received a similar offer. “When I went to Moscow to receive the body, the Russian authorities told us that my brother’s wife, his two children, and our father are entitled to ₹1.3-crore compensation. The children, if they wish to move to Russia, will be entitled to citizenship and free education and medical facilities,” Mr. Imran said.

Aman Moun, from Matour village in Haryana’s Kaithal, whose younger brother Sahil is stuck in Russia, said, “We have been hearing about such assurances for the past many days. Though we are happy that the Prime Minister raised the issue, we want to know when my brother will be home? How many days? I spoke with him today. He is injured and is scared that he might be sent to the war front.”

He said Mr. Sahil, 21, was hit by a grenade and can barely move now. “His commander told him that he will be taken to hospital for treatment after which he will be sent to the war zone,” Mr. Aman said.

Mohammad Mustafa, brother of Sameer Ahmad from Karnataka who is among those stuck in Russia, said, “It is good that PM Modi raised the issue with Russia, but we still do not know when my brother would be released.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.