Nepal has formally communicated to Moscow, urging the Russia government not to enlist its citizens into the Russian army. Additionally, Nepal has insisted on the immediate repatriation of any Nepali soldier currently serving in the Russian military back to the Himalayan nation. This decision follows the revelation that six Nepali soldiers, known as Gurkhas renowned for their bravery and combat skills, lost their lives while serving in the Russian army.
These Gurkhas have historically served in the British and Indian armies under an agreement established after India gained independence in 1947. However, Nepal lacks a similar agreement with Russia, particularly noteworthy given Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February 2022 and the ensuing conflict.
The Nepal government released a statement disclosing that the six soldiers serving in the Russian army had lost their lives, although it did not provide specific details. The statement emphasized Nepal’s request for the immediate return of the soldiers’ bodies and called for compensation to be provided to their grieving families. The foreign ministry made this plea on Monday.
The statement additionally outlined that diplomatic efforts are underway to secure the release of a Nepali citizen, currently serving in the Russian army, who Ukraine has captured. Nepal explicitly discouraged its citizens from joining the armies of nations embroiled in armed conflicts.
The Kathmandu Post, an English daily, quoted Milan Raj Tuladhar, Nepal’s ambassador in Moscow, stating that approximately 150-200 Nepalis were working as mercenaries in the Russian army. The Russian embassy in Kathmandu has not yet responded to requests for comment.
In a broader context, millions of Nepali nationals find employment in civilian roles, predominantly as laborers in industries and construction sites across South Korea, Malaysia, and the Middle East.