Coimbatore: Even as India has been maintaining a string of abstentions at the United Nations on resolutions deploring Russian military operations, an aerospace engineering student from Coimbatore district in Tamil Nadu has chosen to join the International Legion of Defence of Ukraine to fight the Russian forces.
State intelligence sources confirmed that R.Sainikesh (21), a resident of Thudiyalur in Coimbatore had gone to Ukraine in 2018 and joined the National Aerospace University at Kharkiv to study aerospace engineering. His five year course was set to complete by July 2022.
He had visited his family during July last year and stayed with them for nearly one-and-a-half months. After the Russian President ordered to launch a military operation in Ukraine on February 24, the Ukraine government called on foreign citizens to join its fight against Russian aggression.
Sainikesh joined the Georgian National Legion, a paramilitary unit in Ukraine and has been fighting the Russian forces along with Ukrainian forces.
He is the only Indian student who joined Ukraine’s volunteer military force, while the other Indian students were returning home, the sources added. Sainikesh wanted to join the Indian army after completing Class 12 and applied for it. However, he was not selected due to less height. Then only, he preferred to study aerospace engineering in Ukraine.
When Sainikesh informed his parents about his decision to join Ukraine’s volunteer military force to fight with Russia, recently they disagreed and requested him to return to India. But, he refused to give up his plan. The Central and state intelligence sleuths visited his house and inquired about him with his parents. Sainikesh’s parents were tight-lipped and refused to talk to the media about their son.
Meanwhile, the ‘Kyiv Independent,’ an English-language Ukrainian newspaper, quoting Ukrainian ground forces on Tuesday confirmed that Indian fighters have joined the International Legion to fight the invading Russian forces.
“First foreigners have already joined the International Legion, Ukraine’s volunteer military force, and are fighting outside of Kyiv. According to the Ukrainian Ground Forces, the volunteers came from the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Lithuania, Mexico, and India,” it said.