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WHO IS HE?

An Indian-origin Russian legislator has backed Putin’s war on Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin applauds during a ceremony opening the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
Sputnik/Aleksey Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin applauds during a ceremony opening the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China February 4, 2022.
  • Niharika Sharma
By Niharika Sharma

Reporter

Published Last updated

One of the strongest backers of Russia’s ongoing invasion of neighbouring Ukraine is Abhay Kumar Singh, an Indian-origin member of president Vladimir Putin’s party.

A native of the Indian state of Bihar and a graduate of the Kursk State Medical University, Singh arrived in Russia first in the early 1990s. A brief return to India aside, he has mostly lived in Russia since then and, over the decades, become part of that nation’s politics.

Manoeuvring Russia’s pharmaceutical sector over the past many decades and then moving to its real estate sector, too, Singh is today the deputat of Kursk.

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Abhay Kumar Singh

Watching him defend president Putin’s latest action in Ukraine, one wouldn’t guess Singh joined his leader’s United Russia Party only in 2015 and won an election from Kursk only in 2018.

He told an Indian television channel recently that the Russian army was only “attacking military camps in Ukraine.” He further compared the invasion to India’s alleged “surgical strike” on Pakistan in 2016.

“This is not war, it’s like ‘India’s surgical strike,” Singh had said.

Justifying the war, he said: “If China sets up its military base in Bangladesh, how will India react? It is obvious that India will not like this. NATO was formed against Russia and it did not disintegrate despite the Soviet Union breaking up and it gradually came closer to us. If Ukraine joins NATO, it will bring NATO forces closer to us as Ukraine is our neighbouring country and it would be a violation of the agreement. Our president and parliament had no option but to act and a decision was taken.”

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