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Sunday, June 23, 2024

SL Mercenaries in Russia: SL Delegation to Meet Russian Defence Ministry Officials Today

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Sri Lankan diplomats in Russia will meet with officials from the Russian Defence Ministry this evening, marking the “first steps” towards repatriating Sri Lankans who have been thrust into Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The Foreign Ministry has received up to 455 complaints regarding Sri Lankans involved in Russia’s military efforts, either willingly or unwillingly, though the actual number could be much higher, according to State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya.

While some Sri Lankans traveled as mercenaries, others were deceived into fighting for Russia at the front lines, the state minister explained.

Balasuriya explained that individuals who traveled to Russia did so through various means. Most used visit visas, passing through India or the Middle East, and were deceived by nefarious agents, some of whom have been arrested.

He added that some of those who traveled to Russia were assured they would not be involved in combat, but reports indicate they have been sent to the front lines. Balasuriya noted that some may not wish to return to Sri Lanka.

The state minister also mentioned that twenty-six people have been repatriated after seeking help from the Sri Lankan embassy in Russia, while sixteen have been reported missing.


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