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Indian youth enlists with Ukrainian army to fight Russia

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After failing twice to make it to the Indian Army over height, a 21-year old Indian youth from Coimbatore city of Tamil Nadu, who is reportedly studying in Ukraine, has enlisted with the Ukrainian army to fight against the Russian invasion.

The matter came to the fore when Indian intelligence officials visited the house of Sainikesh Ravichandran in Thudiyalur near Coimbatore a few days ago to collect his details, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

The Indian Army had reportedly rejected Sainikesh twice due to his height. He had even approached the US consulate to join the American armed forces, but to no avail, Tamil Nadu police said.

The distraught parents of Sainikesh told the authorities that their son told them that he was doing a course in aerospace engineering in Ukraine and had landed a job at a video game developing company a few days before the Russian invasion.

Sainikesh had enrolled into an aerospace engineering course in the National Aerospace University in Kharkiv in 2018 and joined the Georgian National Legion consisting of paramilitary unit volunteers fighting against Russia, reports said.

The parents of the youth have appealed to the Indian government to trace and bring Sainikhesh back to India as he was unwilling to return home, they added.

Sainikesh's mother Jhansi Lakshmi told media persons in their Coimbatore home that the last time she had spoken to her son was six days ago.

However, she added that their family was deeply anguished and not in a position to divulge anything more.

Sainikesh's joining the Ukrainian army came amidst a report in the country's only English language newspaper "The Kyiv Independent" that claimed 20,000 foreigners are currently fighting in the Ukrainian armed forces against Russia.

Citing a Ukrainian minister, the daily also said foreigners, if they want, can apply for Ukrainian citizenship as well.

On February 27, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the formation of an "international brigade" under which foreign nationals, willing to fight for the eastern European country, would be able to volunteer for the same by visiting Ukrainian embassies in their respective countries to sign up to fight.

Since then, there have been reports of citizens of various countries, including Japan, the UK, and India, volunteering to fight for Ukraine, the report said.

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