Nepal Urges Russia to Halt Gurkha Deployments Amid Casualties

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Nepalese Soldiers_Russia Ukraine War
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Nepal calls on Russia to stop deploying Gurkha soldiers in Ukraine after casualties. Diplomatic efforts underway for repatriation and compensation.

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Nepal has urged Russia to cease deploying its Gurkha soldiers on the frontlines in Ukraine, following a series of casualties that ignited outrage in the country. It has been known that at least six Nepali soldiers serving in the Russian military have perished in Vladimir Putin's Ukrainian conflict since February 2022.

The government implored the Russian authorities to repatriate the remains of the fallen soldiers promptly and provide compensation to their families, as stated by the foreign ministry.

The foreign ministry of Nepal disclosed that diplomatic measures were being taken to secure the release of a captured Nepali soldier who had been fighting in the Russian army while enlisted in the Ukrainian forces.

The Nepalese Soldiers, more commonly known as Gurkhas, have earned renown for their exceptional courage and combat prowess, serving in the British and Indian armies under a trilateral agreement dating back to India's independence in 1947. However, no such accord exists between Nepal and Russia.

Nepal's ambassador to Moscow, Milan Raj Tuladhar. estimates that between 150 and 200 Nepalis have worked as mercenaries for the Russian military since the onset of hostilities. "We are repatriating those who make contact with us back to Nepal while informing them of the significant risks associated with enlisting in the Russian army," Mr. Tuladhar explained.

Moreover, Ambassador Tuladhar revealed that young Nepalis were enticed into participating in the conflict through lucrative monetary incentives and were essentially trafficked into Russia. He elaborated that at least one Nepali national was being repatriated daily after being transported to Russia for military service. If an individual lacked a Nepali passport, they were issued a travel document before returning to Nepal.

Nepal's foreign ministry has cautioned its citizens against joining any third country's armed forces outside its existing international arrangements and has called upon Moscow to repatriate its compatriots.

The report confirmed that two Nepali soldiers, Rupak Karki, and Sandip Thapaliya, have been laid to rest after being killed around mid-July this year, while others await interment. This development comes as Putin seeks to bolster his ground forces in Ukraine, signing a decree last week to expand recruitment by almost 170,000, reaching a total count of 1.32 million. Russia's efforts to attract more voluntary enlistees have included advertisements promising cash rewards, cold calls made by recruiters to eligible individuals, and forming alliances with academic institutions and social service agencies to enlist students and the jobless throughout Russia.