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Indian stance in NATO-Russia conflict in Ukraine

On February 24th, 2022, Kyiv’s envoy to New Delhi expressed His country’s disappointment after Russian troops carry out “Special Military Operations” against Ukraine to “Demilitarize” the country.

Ukraine ambassador in a request said “India is an influential global player. I am asking and “pleading” for Indian support. Prime Minister Modi Ji is one of the most powerful and respected leaders in the world. India has a privileged partnership with Russia. I am hopeful that in case of the strong voice of Modi Ji, President Putin should at least think over it. I hope for a much more favorable attitude of the Indian government.”

He added: “I plead for the strong voice of India. Your Prime Minister can address Mr. Vladmir Putin and our (Ukrainian) President. India has played a peacekeeping role (in the past). I am asking for the strong voice of India to stop the war.”

However, India’s Non-Aligned founder and Strong believer in World Peace continued to tread cautiously on the issue of conflict over Ukraine and has refrained from condemning Russia for its military operations against the East European nation.

At home, the Ukrainian government headed by President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy is begging all world powers including NATO to intervene and stop the Russian operations.

At this perilous moment, War Pundits are assessing very closely how India, one of the world Power and closest Russian allies since 1947, will find its way from the current geopolitical quagmire between Russia and Ukraine.

 Ukraine Sweet Salvation

1) Arms Deal with Pakistan

By 2020 Ukraine completed arms contracts with Pakistan with a total value of nearly $1.6 billion.

Arms deals between two separated nations started 25 years ago. It was not wrong to mention that in 1997. with its infrared night-vision optics, antiaircraft machine guns, and desert-storming diesel engine, the T-80UD Tank is a formidable assault weapon. And when a contingent of them recently trundled through Islamabad, it signaled arms deal worth $600-million between Terror State Pakistan and ex-Soviet Republic Ukraine, with a total of 320 T-80UDs to Pakistan. Not to mention, it was Kyiv’s biggest arms sale to date[1].

Pakistan’s first major purchase of land weapons from a former Soviet republic has raised hackles in both India and Russia.

Over the years, Moscow has repeatedly made it clear that it will never supply arms to India’s enemies, but Moscow’s neighbor Kyiv has always been ambivalent on this issue. In 2013, Committing an obvious breach of mutual trust and diplomatic understanding with India, the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine had once again delivered a big party of 110 main battle tank (MBT) engines and related parts to Terror breading country Pakistan under a $50 million contract.

Arms deals between Ukraine and Pakistan continued and in 2017, Ukraine negotiated the sale of 100 T-84 Oplot main battle tanks to Pakistan[2].

Even when FATF placed Pakistan under the grey list, Ukraine didn’t stop its love affairs with Terror heaven State, Pakistan. As Pakistan has gradually shifted to more modest contracts to maintain and modernize its military hardware, Islamabad and Kyiv maintain pragmatic business relations in the defense sector and shower each other with compliments. In 2021, Ukraine offers a lot of its more advanced and sophisticated weapons that were of great interest to Pakistan.

Nonetheless, this flirting between the two nations’ military industries doesn’t seem to be blossoming into a deeper relationship but Defense experts have mentioned that Ukraine still has chances to win more major Pakistani contracts over China and others defense supplying nations.

2) Ukraine Opposition to India’s Nuclear Test

India will never forget that Ukraine was one of the first countries that vehemently opposed India’s nuclear tests in 1998 and had also condemned India’s actions at the security council following the 1998 nuclear test.

In 1998, Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Indian government decided to conduct five nuclear tests which send chills down the spine of the western leaders. The nuclear tests, code name ‘Operation Shakti’ set India on a road that put India into the nuclear club but also assured the country’s long-time security interests.

Following the nuclear tests, the United Nations Security Council had passed a resolution

1172 that had demanded that India would have refrained from further nuclear tests and had called them to become parties to Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) treaties[3].

The resolution had instructed India to immediately stop their nuclear-weapon development program, to cease the development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any further production of Uranium, the basic material for nuclear weapons.

Ukraine, which was not part of the UNSC at that time, had issued a separate statement condemning India’s actions to acquire nuclear technology.

In addition to the UNSC resolution, more than 30 countries, stood against India’s security interests to express grave concern regarding India’s nuclear tests. And Ukraine was the first among those nations.

Ukraine’s virulency didn’t stop here but when the disarmament conference was held in May 1998, under the aegis of the United Nations, Ukraine too had expressed their regret over India’s decision to carry out nuclear tests, which according to them, violated the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Speaking at the conference, Mykola Maimeskul, the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, had condemned the step taken by India, which endangered existing international arrangements for nuclear non-proliferation[4].

3) Ukraine Stand on Kashmir

Pakistan uses Ukraine as one of the very few places to spread its deceitful lies and hatred against India. A recent example is when on February 5th, 2021, the ambassador of Pakistan Neol I Kokkar to Ukraine observed Kashmiri Solidarity Day in the Pakistani Embassy in Kyiv. He even read the nefarious and mendacious speeches of Pakistan President Arif Alvi and PM Imran Khan.

Zelensky’s administration never ever dare to comment on Pakistan’s false sugar-coated lies and propaganda.

Russia “A Friend in Need is Friend In Deed”

Time and again Russia has always come to help India when the whole world has deserted India.

Indian sympathies for Russia and Russia’s support for India reach back to the early decades of the Cold War when Washington often sided with India’s arch-rival, Pakistan, over issues including the contested Kashmir region. In 1971, when India fought Pakistan over Bangladesh, the United States backed Pakistan in part because it was a crucial party to a plan by President Richard Nixon to secretly establish relations with China. In the ensuing years, Indian military imports from the Soviet Union soared, while at the diplomatic level, it maintained a stated policy of nonalignment.

How can India forget that over the years, Russia has used the veto power in favor of India not once or twice but this permanent member of the UNSC has used the veto power four times in support of India?

Moscow through the decades has not diluted its position as its strategic partner in this South Asian mighty power India. It is no secret that the erstwhile Soviet Union had vetoed several resolutions in UNSC during the Cold War period and after its dissolution, Russia has done the same.

1) Pakistan Proposal in 1957 at UN

Pakistan proposed the use of a temporary UN force in connection with the demilitarization and the bilateral issue was close to becoming an international issue, USSR used the veto power in favor of India.

2) Goa Liberation in 1961

In 1961, Portugal tried to invoke the UN Charter and proposed a resolution that India should withdraw their forces from Goa. As per reports, Nikita Khrushchev sent a telegram to former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in which he said India’s actions “to do away with outposts of colonialism in its territory were absolutely lawful and justified”. The proposal was supported by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. But USSR came to India’s rescue and blew away the proposal by using the veto power. It strengthened India’s cause, and on December 19, 1961, Goa was finally liberated from the rule of Portugal.

It is important to note that it was USSR’s 99th veto.

3) Irish Resolution in the UNSC over Kashmir in 1962

In 1962, an Irish Resolution in the UNSC urged India and Pakistan to directly negotiate with one another to settle the Kashmir issue. Seven UNSC members supported it, and among them were four permanent members – the US, France, UK, and China. The Indian delegation refused to accept the resolution and then, the Russian delegate Platon Dmitrievich Morozov used the veto power to make the resolution null and void. And it was its 100th veto in 1962, and this time again, in favor of India.

4) Kashmir issue at the UN in 1971

In 1965, after the India-Pakistan War began, the then Pakistani foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto raised the Kashmir issue at the UN, and the Indian delegation walked out in protest. According to reports, Kunwar Natwar Singh, the former Minister of External Affairs termed the walkout as a ‘Turning Point” for the UN regarding the Kashmir issue. The Kashmir issue became dormant in the UNSC except in 1971 when resolutions were proposed over the Kashmir issue, but in December 1971, when India was engaged in a war against Pakistan to liberate Bangladesh, the USSR used its veto power thrice to ensure that the issue remains a bilateral one instead of becoming a global concern that could attract interference from third-party nations[5].

Russia used to use the veto power so frequently, so much so that as per reports in favor of India in the early years, the then Soviet ambassador “Andrei Gromyko” earned the nickname “Mr. Nyet” and “Vyacheslav Molotov” was known as “Mr. Veto”.

Russia Stand on abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir

And last, in August 2019, Russia became the first P-5 country to describe India’s move on Kashmir (scrapping Article 370 & bifurcation of the State) as purely an internal matter and called for resolution under the Shimla Agreement of 1972 and Lahore Declaration of 1999. Ever since this position has been reiterated by the Russian Foreign Minister and senior officials.

Let’s view the Russian and Ukrainian Army stance towards Indian Students

Ukraine Soldiers Manhandled and Abused Indian Students

With thousands of Indian students attempting to escape war-torn Ukraine from various border points, several videos have gone viral on social media showing some students being stopped, harassed, and beaten allegedly by Ukrainian officials.

Most reports of Indians facing harassment came from the overcrowded Ukraine-Poland border. In one of the videos, a student is seen being kicked repeatedly by a guard in uniform.

Another Indian student alleged that they were not being allowed to cross by the Ukrainians over to Poland because the Indian government sided with Russia over the issue.

Some students have also complained that they were kept in a hostage-like situation in the freezing cold and denied water and food.

Another group of 21 Indian students of Chernivtsi National University is stranded in Chernivtsi. Some have alleged that girl students were harassed and beaten by Ukrainian Police guards, IANS reported.

Priya, one of the students, said Indian students were stranded on the roads and running out of money and food[6].

Ukrainian Army Using Indian Students As human shields

In a key development, Russian Embassy in India alleged that a group of Indian students was taken hostage by the Ukrainian security forces in order to use them as a human shield. The Embassy alleged that the Ukrainian forces were using every possible way to prevent them from leaving for Russia. “According to our information, Ukrainian authorities forcibly keep a large group of Indian students in Kharkiv who wish to leave Ukrainian territory and go to Belgorod,” a Russian military spokesperson said at a briefing. Meanwhile, in the subsequent tweet, the Embassy said that the Russian Side, in particular, was trying to organize an urgent evacuation of a group of Indian students from Kharkiv through the humanitarian corridor along the shortest route to Russia.

“In fact, they are being held as hostages & offered to leave the territory of Ukraine via Ukrainian-Polish border. They offered to go through the territory where active hostilities are taking place,” tweeted Russia in India late at night[7].

Russian Armies Helping Indian Students

As Russia’s military onslaught in Ukraine sends refugees scattering, Moscow extends a helping hand to the Indian group.

For days, Russian forces have pounded Kharkiv with missiles and artillery, leaving hundreds of civilians dead and sending countless residents streaming out of Ukraine’s second-largest city.

But since Wednesday, Russia has given advice to one particular set of people — Indian students in Ukraine — on how to flee its bombardment campaign. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his troops to make “all possible efforts” to protect the Indians. And Mikhail Mizintsev, a senior Russian general, has declared that the Russian army has 130 buses and even military planes ready to whisk Indians to safety[8].

Thus, On the one hand, Ukraine Army is manhandling and beating Indian Students and on the other hand, the Mighty Russian Army is giving free passage to Indian Student’s buses.

Whom Asia Mighty Power Will Ballot For – Russia or Ukraine

One doesn’t have to be a Geo-Political expert to understand which Country India will choose and why?

On the one hand, India has a time-tested relationship with its oldest friend Russia, hinged on defense, cultural and bilateral trade deals, and on the other, it has ex-Soviet Republic, Ukraine has done nothing but sown thorns in India’s Path by bringing motions against her.

It’s also true that India needs to keep an eye on a double-edged country, Ukraine which is supporting its adversaries like Pakistan and China, given its own border tensions with the two neighboring nations.

Not to mention, that Asia’s mighty Power also needs allies and trade partners like the USA to counterbalance China’s growing influence in the region.

Geo-Strategics experts around the world also cite that one of the major reasons why India doesn’t want to jeopardize its ties with Moscow is that it sees Russia as a guarantor of multipolarity. India has always favored a world order where multiple powers balance each other out.

Question for Ukraine President and its Indian Ambassador

Before closing the article, I would also like to ask Ukraine Premier and its Indian Ambassador how can they expect a father (Modi Ji) to speak for a backstabber and hypocrite like Ukraine on the world forum when his own kids are being threatened, manhandled, and harassed by its forces.

[1] Delivery of Tanks to Pakistan Sets Off Sales War With Russia – Los Angeles Times (

[2] Ukraine in talks to sell Pakistan 100 tanks (



[5] Veto power: What is it and how many times Russia has used it in favour of India? (

[6] Indian Students Stopped And Harassed At Borders By Ukrainian Officials: Report (

[7] Ukraine Army holding Indians hostage in Kharkiv to use as ‘human shields’ claims Russia (

[8] Russia is attacking Ukrainian cities. But it’s also helping refugees from India, a key diplomatic backer. – The Washington Post

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About the author

Ankush Bhandari

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