Russia recruits 15,000 Nepalese in its war against Ukraine

February 14,2024 1655
Russia recruits 15,000 Nepalese in its war against Ukraine

Russia has reportedly recruited nearly 15,000 Nepalese for the war against Ukraine, according to reports from CNN and opposition Nepalese lawmaker Bimala Rai Paudyal. “Many returned traumatized. Some never came back,” according to the report.

Moscow began actively recruiting Nepalese soldiers after the Russian government created an attractive package for foreign fighters: a minimum monthly salary of $2,000 and expedited procedures to obtain Russian citizenship.

I didn’t join the Russian military for pleasure. I didn’t have any job opportunities in Nepal. But in hindsight, it wasn’t the right decision. We didn’t realize we would be sent to the frontlines that quickly and how horrible the situation would be,” said one of the Nepalese volunteers, 37-year-old Ramchandra Khadka, who recently returned to Nepal after being wounded at the front in Ukraine.

Khadka arrived in Russia last year in September. “After only two weeks of training, he said, he was sent to the front lines in Bakhmut – a town in eastern Ukraine that saw some of the heaviest fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces – with a gun and a basic kit,” CNN said.

Photo: Ramchandra Khadka, CNN

CNN analyzed the profiles of 10 Nepalese individuals in Russia on TikTok. Journalists, using satellite imagery, identified their location at a military academy outside Moscow. The educational institution has been repurposed for training foreign mercenaries, including soldiers from Afghanistan, India, Congo and Egypt.

Russia is currently recruiting mercenaries for the war against Ukraine from Somalia, Sierra Leone, Nepal, Syria, and Cuba, said Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence representative Andrii Yusov.

“Russia offers men from there an easy and quick way to earn money without explaining where they will be sent. … For Russia, seeking mercenaries abroad is more advantageous and cheaper than continuing domestic mobilization efforts. They fear destabilization. Financially, it is also more cost-effective than supporting their own military,” says Yusov.

On February 14, Ukrainian intelligence reported that it had also obtained information on 141 mercenaries who were recruited by Russia from Syria for its war against Ukraine, “As known, Russians recruit Syrians for participation in combat actions against Ukraine through tourist agencies, and training takes place at a military base near the city of Aleppo and the Kuweires airbase,” according to the Ukrainian intelligence service.

Photo: CNN


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