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Nepal urges Russia to bring back Nepali mercenaries who fight against Ukraine

Nepal urges Russia to bring back Nepali mercenaries who fight against Ukraine Foreign Minister of Nepal, Narayan Prakash Saud (Getty Images)

Nepal requested Russia to send back Nepali people who were hired to fight against Ukraine. The country also asked for the bodies of those who died, according to AP News.

“We have asked Russia to immediately stop the recruitment of Nepali nationals in their army, immediately return those who are already serving in the army, repatriate the bodies of those killed, and treat and return those who were wounded in the fighting,” said Foreign Minister of Nepal, Narayan Prakash Saud.

He mentioned that over 200 Nepali nationals were recruited by the Russian army to fight in the war, while at least 14 of them died in Ukraine. Among the 14 confirmed deaths, Russia has 12 bodies. Families of the deceased want them to be cremated according to religious customs.

Nepal is also asking Russia to compensate the families of Nepali citizens who lost their lives in the war.

“We have information that five of our citizens who fought on behalf of the Russians are being held captive by the Ukraine side. We are asking the Russian side to take initiatives to get them freed,” Saud added.

Nepal's government has banned its citizens from involving in the Russia-Ukraine war over concerns about recruitment by the Russian army.

Foreigners fighting on the Russian side

While Russian officials haven't commented on the recruitment of foreign nationals for military service in Ukraine, there are media reports suggesting recruitment from other countries. Russian law allows foreigners to join its army after signing a contract with the Defense Ministry.

On January 24, mercenaries from Malaysia, recruited by Russia for the war against Ukraine, were spotted in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk region. The Center for National Resistance said that Cuban, Nepalese, Belarusian, Serbian, and representatives of other countries where mercenarism is formally prohibited have also been repeatedly identified within the ranks of the Russian Armed Forces.

In September 2023, Cuba reported that Russia was recruiting Cuban citizens to join its military and fight against Ukraine. However, the authorities pledged to neutralize the network.

Moreover, Russian occupants are preparing an expedition to Africa to search for and train mercenaries to participate in the war against Ukraine.