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India Arrests 4 Accused of Recruiting Citizens for Russian Army

A group of Indian men in March said they were tricked into fighting in the war against Ukraine. @umasudhir / X

Indian authorities have arrested four people accused of "trafficking" citizens of the country to fight for the Russian army in Ukraine.

At least two Indian soldiers have been killed in Moscow's war on Ukraine, with several recruits previously telling AFP they were shipped to the front lines under false pretenses.

A statement published by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) late Tuesday said four men had been arrested, including one who had worked in Russia as a translator for a network facilitating the recruitment of Indian soldiers.

"[An] investigation is continuing against other accused persons who are part of this international network of human traffickers," the statement read.

The arrests come two months after the investigators conducted raids across 13 locations in India and detained several people for questioning.

The CBI said then that it had found at least 35 instances of Indians being sent to Russia.

India's Foreign Ministry previously said it was working to secure discharges for around 20 Indian nationals in the Russian army.

Several Indian recruits told AFP in February that they were lured into joining Moscow's armed forces by promises of high salaries and Russian passports before being shipped to the front line.

The soldiers said they had been promised non-combatant roles but were trained to use Kalashnikov assault rifles and other weapons.

India is a longstanding ally of Russia and has shied away from explicit condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine.

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