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12° Nicosia,
14 June, 2024
 
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Nepali fighters demand return from Russia's war in Ukraine

Families plead for return of sons trapped in foreign battlefields

Newsroom

Around 2,000 Nepali men have been recruited by Russia to fight in its war against Ukraine, according to information obtained by Sky News. Many of these men, driven by poverty, are now seeking a way to return home.

One such individual, Ganesh, aged 35, managed to return after spending four and a half months fighting in Donetsk. He recounts harrowing experiences, describing how Nepali recruits were treated poorly, likening it to being "treated like dogs."

Ganesh, who had previously served in the Indian army for ten years, witnessed young and inexperienced individuals being thrust into conflict zones with minimal support, some of whom had never handled a gun before.

Following a brief period of training at the Avangard training center outside Moscow, Ganesh claims that Nepali mercenaries were inadequately supported and faced dire conditions in the frontline.

Reports indicate that Nepali men were used as cannon fodder, with a clear hierarchy placing Russian criminals, Nepalis, and Indians ahead of Kremlin troops.

Despite promises of better opportunities and higher pay, many Nepalis found themselves in precarious situations, forced to take out loans and pay exorbitant fees to agents facilitating their journey to Russia.

The Nepali government has taken action, banning its citizens from traveling to Russia or Ukraine for work and demanding the repatriation of all recruited individuals.

Superintendent Nawaraj Adhikari stated that the police are actively pursuing agents involved in facilitating illegal recruitment, with several arrests already made.

Concerns over the welfare of Nepali mercenaries persist, with families appealing for their return and reports of individuals attempting to flee the conflict zone, often facing betrayal and violence.

Kritu Bhandari, a politician and social campaigner based in Kathmandu, is leading efforts to bring back Nepali mercenaries, with hundreds of families seeking assistance.

Official estimates suggest that hundreds of Nepali men are currently serving in the Russian army, with a significant number reported dead. However, politicians and activists argue that these figures underestimate the true extent of Nepali involvement.

While Russian authorities have reportedly agreed to compensate victims' families, there is little indication of concrete steps to address recruitment practices or ensure the safe return of Nepali citizens.

The plight of Nepali men caught in a conflict far from home underscores the desperation driving individuals to seek employment abroad, often with tragic consequences and uncertain futures.

[With information sourced from Sky News]

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Cyprus  |  Nepal  |  Russia  |  war  |  Ukraine  |  soldiers

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