Sri Lankan Mercenaries Captured in Ukraine

Sri Lankan Mercenaries Captured in Ukraine: Families Of Missing Men Plead for Answers

by Zulfick Farzan 17-05-2024 | 4:38 PM

COLOMBO (News 1st); Ukrainian media reported that Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to capture mercenaries from Sri Lanka in the area of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region.

The spokesperson for the operational-strategic group of troops Khortytsia, Lieutenant Colonel Nazar Voloshyn, stated that the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to capture mercenaries from Sri Lanka in the area of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk region.

The Ukrainian media report noted that the Russian army faces a shortage of personnel for the war against Ukraine due to the significant losses it suffers on the battlefield. Therefore, the Kremlin is recruiting mercenaries from other countries to bolster its occupation forces.

Reports have emerged from various parts of Sri Lanka regarding former members of the armed forces who have gone missing after being deployed to Russia. 

Thirteen individuals, including retired Sergeant Major Thushara Sampath Weerakkodi, left for Russia on February 16th.

Relatives state that there has been no communication from any of the 13 individuals since March 12th.

The situation remains concerning, and their last online presence was on that date.

"My husband was sent for overseas deployment by a person called Major Bandara from Pothuhera. He is noow is custody. There is another person called Bandula who is also involved in this. I haven't spoken to my husband since March 12th. I do not know what happened to him. I request the authorities to save the war heroes who liberated this country," said the Wife Of Sampath Weerakkodi to News 1st.

Thushara Sampath Veerakkodi, a father of two residing in Warakapola, Algama area, is among the missing Sri Lankan retired soldiers who were deployed to Russia. 

The Criminal Investigation Department has arrested five individuals in connection with this human trafficking case.

Numerous complaints have been received regarding the missing soldiers. 

To date, 16 retired Sri Lankan soldiers have been confirmed to have lost their lives in the Russia-Ukraine war.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tharaka Balasuriya, announced that a special delegation is prepared to travel to Russia to investigate the human trafficking case.