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Nepali citizens are fighting in both Russia and Ukraine, over 700 families ask Moscow for help: Report

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Russian President Vladimir Putin while meeting his soldiers
Image Source : AP Russian President Vladimir Putin while meeting his soldiers

Kathmandu: Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Kaji Shrestha has asked Russia to share a list of Nepalese citizens serving the Russian Army in the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war but stressed that complications remained in bringing them back from the war zone, according to media reports. The comments by Shrestha, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, came while speaking to media persons on Tuesday after the Russian Ambassador to the Himalayan nation Aleksei Novikov called on him, the Kathmandu Post newspaper reported. 

“Since the war between Russia and Ukraine has not stopped, bringing Nepalis back from the Russian Army is still difficult,” he said. The report claimed Nepali citizens have been fighting from both sides– Russia and Ukraine.

Nepali citizens are fighting in both Russia and Ukraine

Hundreds of Nepali citizens are reported fighting for the Russians against Ukraine. A small number of Nepali citizens are serving in the Ukrainian Army, too, but both conflicting nations have not shared the details with the government of Nepal. On March 7, Shrestha held a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and raised the concerns of the Nepali side.

According to a network of the victims’ families, 20 Nepali nationals are confirmed dead fighting for the Russians, and more than 260 have gone missing or are out of contact. However, the Nepal government has said that so far 11 Nepalese nationals serving in the Russian Army were killed in the war with Ukraine.

Nearly 700 family members come forward 

Around 700 family members have come forward stating that their family members or relatives have joined the Russian army and are seeking help for their safe return. Shrestha said that they have not heard back from Russia on the matter. “We have repeatedly instructed our mission in Moscow to take up the issue of sending back the Nepali citizens serving in the Russian Army. We have heard no concrete words from the Russian side regarding their commitment to sending back the Nepali citizens recruited into the Russian Army,” he said.

During the meeting on Tuesday, Shrestha is learnt to have urged the Russian ambassador to provide details of the Nepali nationals serving in the Russian Army, to stop recruitment of the Nepalis and provide compensation to the families of those who had died in the war, the report said. Shrestha also reportedly said that he wants to visit Russia and take stock of the condition of the Nepali nationals in Russia.

He said he is keen to know how Nepali nationals were duped and brought to Russia and talk to Russian officials to resolve the issue. Shrestha also reportedly told the Russian ambassador that if Moscow does not listen and act on Nepal’s requests, the government would seek support from other countries.

MEA acknowledged some youths were inducted into the Russian Army

MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal, during a weekly press conference last month, acknowledged that the ministry was aware that some Indians were recruited by some agents who later duped them into combating their role in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

“We are aware that a few Indian nationals have signed up for support jobs with the Russian army. The Indian Embassy has regularly taken up this matter with the relevant Russian authorities for their early discharge. We urge all Indian nationals to exercise due caution and stay away from this conflict,” said an MEA spokesperson in an official statement. As of now, at least two Indian youth were reportedly killed in Ukraine.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Indians from Punjab, Haryana went to Russia on holiday trip, forced to fight against Ukraine I VIDEO



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