Why are Indian and Nepali men ending up on the frontline in Ukraine? – podcast | News

Hemul Mangakia grew up in Surat, a city in the Indian state of Gujarat. At 23 he was looking for opportunities and a way to make his mark on the world. So when he came across a video on YouTube posted by a recruitment agent in St Petersburg, Russia, he was intrigued. The man on the video said there were openings for security guards in the historic city. The pay was up to £2,000 per month. The chance was too good to miss.

As Hannah Ellis-Petersen, the Guardian’s south Asia correspondent, tells Michael Safi, this is a scene that has played out hundreds, maybe thousands of times in recent months. The young men, mainly from India and Nepal, fly to Russia on the promise of lucrative work and are then pressured into signing a different kind of contract: one that enlists them in the Russian military and pushes them to the frontline of the war in Ukraine, where many are now dying.

Mohammad Asfan

Photograph: Handout

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