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Ukraine Conflict Reveals Disturbing Deception on Both Sides


Schemes and Gambits

Startling revelations have cast the war in Ukraine in a new light, exposing the shadowy depths both sides are plunging to gain advantage.

In a stunning development, Russia stands accused of deceiving Indian citizens into serving as cannon fodder, their lives callously sacrificed.

Meanwhile, the UK’s secret deployment of special forces has been sensationally exposed through a leaked phone call, sparking an international incident.

And Ukraine has pulled off a brazen drone attack to sink a prized Russian warship, brutally flaunting their determination against the invaders.

The schemes and maneuvers emerging paint an alarming picture of escalation through subterfuge. Lives caught in the gears of war machines. Covert ops provoking global tensions. Devastating strikes meant to break morale.

Each new maneuver raises the stakes of this high-risk duel between Russia and the West being waged on Ukrainian soil. How much further will they go? The rest of the world watches on edge as the two sides charge headlong into the shadows, heedless of who or what stands in their way. The future has never been more uncertain as this conflict threatens to explode beyond all control.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on a fighting vehicle outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 2, 2022. As Russian forces pull back from Ukraine’s capital region, retreating troops are creating a “catastrophic” situation for civilians by leaving mines around homes, abandoned equipment and “even the bodies of those killed,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned Saturday. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The Deception

The ongoing war in Ukraine has seen desperate moves by both sides to gain any advantage against their opponent. For Russia, facing heavier than expected losses, this has meant leveraging vulnerable populations abroad to serve as cannon fodder. 

Meanwhile, Western powers like the United Kingdom have discreetly deployed forces to Ukraine to assist in the fight. And Ukraine itself has pulled off daring strikes against high value Russian targets.

India’s Men Deceived into Russia’s War

The plight of Indian citizens tricked into fighting for Russia highlights how the Kremlin is exploiting disadvantaged individuals. 

Over 100 Indian nationals are believed to have been recruited by Russia over the past year as so-called “helpers” for the military. However, at least 12 of these men ended up on the frontlines despite having no combat training or experience.

The scam typically works by recruiters based in places like Dubai or Russia promising high paying jobs to Indians back home. 

The jobs are said to be non-combat support roles with the Russian forces, such as kitchen staff or drivers. But after arriving in Russia, the Indians have their passports taken away and are shipped directly to occupied territories in Ukraine.

Once there, they are provided outdated weapons and minimal training before being thrust into battle. For most, this is the first time they have even held a gun. As a result, many have suffered injuries from their own weapons or been killed in action. They find themselves trapped in a war they never agreed to fight in.

One victim was 31-year-old Aazad Yousuf Kumar from Indian Kashmir. After having a son three months ago, Aazad was desperate to provide for his young family. He paid 300,000 rupees, which equates to around 3,600 US Dollars, to an agency called Baba Vlogs that promised him a high paying job in Dubai. But upon arriving there in December, he was told no such job existed and was sent to work as a cleaner in Russia instead.


By February, Aazad found himself forcibly deployed near the Ukraine border. In a desperate WhatsApp message to his family, he described the harsh conditions and how he had already injured himself with a gun he didn’t know how to use. 

Aazad told his brother Sajad: “Conditions are harsh, with the temperature dropping to minus 35 degrees Celsius, and I ended up shooting my foot with a gun I had never touched before.”

That was the last his family heard from him. They fear he is now stranded in the besieged city of Mariupol.

The families of the tricked Indians have pleaded to the government for help in bringing their relatives home. But some feel not enough is being done to protect vulnerable citizens from these scams. With India’s high unemployment rate, many young men are prime targets for dubious foreign job offers.

Although perhaps stronger policies and awareness campaigns are needed in India to prevent citizens from unknowingly entering conflict zones. However, India has generally avoided directly criticizing Russia over the war. This makes it unlikely the government will take a tougher stand, even as more Indians get sucked into Russia’s meat grinder strategy.

Britain’s Shadow Soldiers in Ukraine

While India contends with unwitting fighters stuck abroad, the United Kingdom has secretly deployed its own troops directly into Ukraine. In a leaked call between high-ranking German officers, a British ground presence in Ukraine was acknowledged.

In the call, authenticated by Germany, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, head of the German Air Force, discusses how the British provide support for firing Storm Shadow missiles, which have a range up to 150 miles.

Gerhartz explains that the “British do it completely in reachback,” meaning remote intelligence and logistical support from Britain. But he adds they also have “a few people on the ground” in Ukraine, unlike the French.

The Kremlin has seized on the call as evidence of direct NATO involvement in the war, since it exposes British boots on the ground. However, former UK defense officials expressed frustration with Germany that such a sensitive call was intercepted by Russia in the first place.

In response to the leaked audio recording, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius is shifting blame to Vladimir Putin. Pistorius accused the Russian president of orchestrating the hacking and release of the call as “information warfare” intended to sow discord among Western allies. 

The defense minister maintained that the call does not truly indicate NATO direct involvement in the war in Ukraine. By putting the focus on Putin’s alleged role in the leak, Pistorius aims to downplay the incident amid friction with the UK over the careless exposure of British forces on the ground in Ukraine.

But it’s undeniable that the leaked call confirms previous reports that covert British special forces have been deployed to Ukraine since early in the invasion to help train Ukrainian troops on advanced NATO weapons and provide in-theater assistance. Their presence carries risks, but gives Ukraine a critical edge with Western intelligence and firepower.

The revelation puts the United Kingdom in a difficult spot, forced to acknowledge their ground forces while avoiding any escalation with Russia. Germany, for its part, must explain how such a high-level call was so easily hacked by the Kremlin. With concrete proof now public, the presence of British troops makes the proxy war in Ukraine even more delicate.

For Britain, the stealth deployment keeps their forces at an acceptable level of risk while still providing Ukraine a maximum advantage. But should Russia somehow manage to kill or capture British soldiers, it could lead to dangerous escalations. The UK is gambling that their forces can remain hidden well enough to avoid that scenario.

Ukraine Sinks Russian Warship

Ukraine, for its part, has proven adept at bold strikes against prestigious Russian targets. Their latest success came overnight when Ukraine’s military intelligence agency released footage purportedly showing the sinking of the Russian patrol ship Sergey Kotov in the Black Sea near occupied Crimea. The video shows what appears to be a Russian Project 22160-class ship being struck by drones and engulfed in flames.


Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol has been subject to several Ukrainian attacks throughout the war. But the sinking of the Sergey Kotov deals an especially embarrassing blow. 

As UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace stated: “This remarkable Ukrainian operation shows the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people in the face of Russian aggression.”

The loss highlights Russia’s continued vulnerability in the Black Sea.

That Russia is unable to secure its own maritime backyard against small drones shows how overstretched their forces have become. For Ukraine, it provides a major morale boost while also degrading Russia’s capabilities in the south.

Above all, the audacious strike on the Sergey Kotov epitomizes Ukraine’s determination to reclaim all occupied territory, including Crimea. With Western weapons and intelligence aid, Kyiv is growing more confident it can succeed. Russia’s unprepared troops thrown into battle, lavish warships sunk, foreign mercenaries killed in droves – this is the reality of the Kremlin’s war effort thus far.

As Russia’s desperation grows, their brutal and unethical tactics will as well. But Ukraine has proven it will not bow down or back away from the challenge. And with support from Western allies, albeit sometimes covertly, Ukraine aims to continue making Russia’s invasion as costly and painful as possible. What happens next depends heavily on whether Russia has the fortitude to keep bearing those costs amid mounting losses. For now, the end is nowhere in sight.

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