CNN: Russia recruited 15 thousand Nepalese for the war against Ukraine

Oleksandra Opanasenko

Russia involved 15 thousand mercenaries from Nepal in the war against Ukraine. This happened after last year Russia promised favorable terms of service for foreign fighters who join the occupying forces.

CNN writes about this with reference to its own sources.

The Russian Federation promised mercenaries from Nepal a salary of at least $2,000 per month and an accelerated process of obtaining a Russian passport. Nepalʼs passport is considered one of the worst in the world for global mobility, second only to North Korea according to Henley & Partnersʼ index.

A well-known Nepalese opposition politician and former foreign minister, Bimala Rai Paudyal, said that 14,000 to 15,000 Nepalis are fighting on the side of Russia, citing the testimony of men who returned from the war zone, and called on the Russian authorities to provide accurate numbers. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal, four mercenaries from the country are currently being held in Ukraine as prisoners of war.

In a comment to CNN journalists, one of the Nepalese mercenaries, Ramchandra Khadka, who returned from the front line to his homeland after being wounded, talked about his service in the Russian army.

"I joined the Russian army not for fun. I did not have any opportunity to get a job in Nepal. But in retrospect, it was the wrong decision. We had no idea that we would be sent to the front line so quickly and how dire the situation would be," Khadka said.

Mercenary Ramchandra Khadka in Bakhmut, where he fought on the side of Russia.

Khadka was sent twice to Bakhmut, Donetsk region — he stayed there for a month in total. During the second deployment, he was shot in the thigh. After he was taken several hundred meters from the front line, he was wounded by shrapnel.

The Nepalese government claims that about 200 of its citizens are fighting on the side of the Russian army and that at least 13 Nepalis have died in the war zone. But lawmakers and human rights activists in Nepal say the official figures are far below the real numbers.

Nepal has previously called on Russia not to recruit its citizens into the Russian army and to immediately send any Nepalese soldier who gets there back to their homeland. This happened after it was reported that six Nepalis had died while serving in the Russian army.