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Russia recruited almost 15 thousand Nepalis to fight in war - CNN

Russia recruited almost 15 thousand Nepalis to fight in war - CNN Russia recruits Nepalis to fight in war (photo: Getty Images)

The Russian Federation has recruited nearly 15,000 Nepalis to fight in the war against Ukraine. Many of them returned traumatized, while some never returned, reports CNN.

According to the newspaper, one of the Nepalese volunteers, 37-year-old Ramchandra Khadka, recently returned to Nepal after being wounded at the front in Ukraine.

He said that he witnessed horrific scenes and regrets his decision to join the Kremlin army as a foreign mercenary.

"I didn't join the Russian military for pleasure. I didn’t have any job opportunities in Nepal. But in hindsight, it wasn’t the right decision. We didn’t realize we would be sent to the frontlines that quickly and how horrible the situation would be," Khadka said.

He arrived in Moscow in September last year. According to him, after only two weeks of training, he was sent to the front line in Bakhmut with a weapon and a basic kit.

"There isn’t an inch of land in Bakhmut that’s not affected by bombs. All the trees, shrubs, and greenery… they are all gone. Most of the houses have been destroyed. The situation there is so gruesome that it makes you want to cry," he recalls.

Khadka was twice deployed to Bakhmut and spent a total of one month there. During his second deployment, he was shot in the thigh. After he was rescued and taken a few hundred meters from the front line, he was hit by shrapnel from a cluster bomb.

According to CNN's anonymous sources, he is one of 15,000 Nepali men who joined the Russian army after the Russian government announced a lucrative package last year for foreign fighters to join the country's armed forces.

Situation with Nepalese mercenaries

Kathmandu-based politician and social activist Kritu Bhandari has become the leader of a group of family members of Nepali men fighting in Russia.

She says that in recent weeks, she has been approached by about 2,000 families asking for help in contacting their missing loved ones or returning those who are still in touch.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal, four Nepalese soldiers are currently being held as prisoners of war in Ukraine.

Prominent opposition Nepalese politician and former foreign minister Bimal Rai Paudyal said on Thursday in the upper house of the district parliament that 14,000 to 15,000 Nepalese are fighting on the front line, citing testimonies of men who have returned from the combat zone, and called on the Russian authorities to provide these figures.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, did not respond to CNN's questions about the number of Nepalis recruited by the Russian army and how many of them have already been killed.

Russians are recruiting foreigners for the war against Ukraine

Russian troops are experiencing a shortage of military personnel to fill combat losses, so they are trying to attract foreign volunteers to serve.

In particular, the terrorist country was recruiting Cuban citizens for the war in Ukraine. The latter were promised high salaries, bonuses, and vacations.

Also in early January, Nepal stopped issuing permits to its citizens to work in Russia and Ukraine. At least 10 Nepalese soldiers were killed while serving in the Russian army.

We also wrote that Nepal recently demanded compensation from Russia for its citizens killed in the war against Ukraine.