Monday, December 4, 2023

Six Nepalis die fighting for Russian Army in Ukraine, one captive

The Foreign Ministry today officially confirmed the deaths of six Nepalis, while serving for the Russian Army that is currently fighting a war after invading Ukraine in February 2022.

Issuing a press note, the ministry clarified that these deaths were confirmed despite Nepal banning to join its nationals in foreign armies, except for those recruited into the national armies of friendly countries under traditional agreements. Nepalis traditionally join the armies of India and the UK.

The ministry had issued a press note also on August 1 stressing not to provide permission for recruitment in any foreign army apart from those in a few countries as per traditional agreements.

The ministry has also confirmed a Nepali, who has been fighting for Russia, has been captive in Ukrain.

The Nepalis, who lost their lives in Ukraine are identified as Sandeep Thapalia of Gorkha, Rupak Kari of Kapilvastu, Dewan Rai of Kaski, Pritam Karki of Syangja, Raj Kumar Roka of Ilam, and Ganga Raj Moktan of Ilam. 

The ministry has also formally requested the Russian government to expedite the repatriation of the deceased Nepalis' bodies and provide compensation to their grieving families.

The ministry has also requested the Russian government to refrain from recruiting Nepalis into the Russian army.

Likewise, the government has also requested Russia to repatriate any Nepalis, who may have recently joined the Russian army. "Diplomatic efforts are underway to secure the return of Bibek Khatri, a Nepali citizen currently held captive in Ukraine after joining the Russian army," the press note reads, confirming the report that one Nepali is in the captivity of Ukraine.

There are unofficial reports that many Nepalis are being lured to joint the Russian Army, the press note added appealing Nepali citizens, excluding those engaged in government work, recipients of Russian government scholarships, and professionals in business, to travel to Russia only through the Consular Service Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tripureshwar.

Likewise, the ministry has urged the Nepalis to refrain from joining the armies of war-torn countries, based on false information or the temptation of monetary gains. "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs requests all concerned not to join the army of war-torn countries on the basis of false information or temptation," it added.

According to the ministry, the deceased are:

Sandeep Thapaliya (Gorkha)

Rupak Karki (Banganga-1, Kapilvastu)

Duban Rai (Kaski)

Pitam Karki (Putali Bazaar-5, Syangja)

Raj Kumar Roka (Melung-6, Dolakha)

Ganga Raj Moktan (Ilam-5, Ilam)

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