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Nepal calls on Russia to return its citizens recruited into ranks of Russian army

At least six Nepalese have been killed, one captured, and about 200 others remain mercenaries. 

Nepal calls on Russia to return its citizens recruited into ranks of Russian army

Nepal has accused Russia of recruiting its citizens for the war against Ukraine. At least six Nepalese have already been killed in the ranks of the occupation forces, Reuters reports.

Nepal said it had asked Russia not to recruit its people into the Russian army and to return those who had already been recruited. There are no details about the deaths of the six Nepalese.

"The government of Nepal has requested the Russian government to immediately return their bodies and pay compensation to their families," the Nepalese Foreign Ministry said.

They added that they are conducting diplomatic efforts were underway to get one Nepali citizen serving the Russian army and captured by Ukraine released. Nepal also urged its citizens not to join the army of any war-torn country.

The English newspaper The Kathmandu Post, quoted Milan Raj Tuladhar, Nepal's ambassador in Moscow, as saying that 150-200 Nepalis were working as mercenaries in the Russian army.

Why Russia recruits foreigners and where it does so

  • Russia began recruiting foreign mercenaries, not just its own imprisoned criminals, in the first year of the full-scale invasion. There is evidence of recruitment of Cuban nationals through job advertisements for cooks and construction workers, Afghan special forces soldiers, Belarusians, Syrians, residents of the Balkan countries, migrants from Central Asia and other countries.
  • Russia recruits mostly citizens of poor countries or migrants, promising them high salaries. The recruitment of foreigners allows the Kremlin to avoid unpopular mobilisation before "elections" and to replenish the ranks of the occupiers after losses.
  • According to the UK Ministry of Defence, the Kremlin is trying to recruit foreigners to be able to send fewer of its citizens to war before the presidential "elections" in 2024. Since June 2023, Russia has been calling on citizens of its neighbouring countries to go to war against Ukraine. In Armenia and Kazakhstan, there were online advertisements offering 495,000 rubles ($5,140) in initial payments and salaries starting at 190,000 rubles (1,973 dollars). Since May 2023, the Russian Federation has been appealing to Central Asian migrants to go to war in exchange for fast-track citizenship and salaries of $4,160. The exploitation of foreign nationals allows the Kremlin to recruit additional personnel for its military operations despite the growing losses. 
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