Twelve people in Nepal were arrested for smuggling young men into Russia’s army. This has brought attention to the fighters from Nepal.
This week, Nepal requested Russia to send back Nepali soldiers because six of them died in a fight in Ukraine.
The smugglers reportedly took $9,000 from each man to bring them into the country on tourist visas, according to Kathmandu police.
It is not known how many Nepali people are in the army of Russia, but it is believed to be at least a few hundred.
The ambassador of Nepal to Russia said that about 150-200 Nepali people are fighting for Russia. Locals also say that many people are signing up every week to fight for money and residency visas.
The BBC knows that people from Nepal are still going to Russia to join the military. Many people got hurt in the war and are getting help in hospitals in Russia.
Nepal is very poor. About 40% of the people there are living in poverty, according to the World Bank.
It mostly doesn’t allow people to join foreign armies, but there are exceptions for Gurkha soldiers to join the Indian and British armies. It’s difficult to enforce this ban.
Russia is trying to add more soldiers to its army as its fight with Ukraine continues. It has hired soldiers from places like Georgia, Syria, and Libya.
Nepali police said on Thursday that there is no evidence that Russia was directly involved in hiring Nepali mercenaries.
The country of Nepal has asked Russia to stop using Nepali soldiers. It also called the Russian ambassador in Nepal to remind him of Kathmandu’s position.
Police Chief Kumud Dhungel said that they found some Nepali people were given letters inviting them to visit Russia.
The police think that these brokers might help the mercenaries travel to Russia through India or Dubai so they can avoid being questioned at the airport in Nepal. He said that they asked the Indian authorities for help with their investigation.
On Monday, Nepal requested for the bodies of six soldiers who died in a battle to be returned to Nepal.
However, the ambassador of the country in Russia, Milan Raj Tuladhar, told the BBC that there has been no progress in this matter so far.
The victim’s sister told the BBC that she has been asking for help from Nepali authorities to get compensation and bring her brother’s body back.
The Russian military has already buried the bodies, according to the authorities. “The woman, who didn’t want to give her name, said they should talk to the Russian government to help us. ”
In June, the BBC said that lots of young people from Nepal went to Russia with student and work visas. Some of them even joined the Russian army to make money and become citizens of Russia.
“Everyone is aware of Nepal’s economy. ” “What should we do if we return there. ” one of the soldiers asked in a video on TikTok.
According to a government spokesperson, it was reported this week by the Kyiv Post that there were Nepalis fighting with Ukrainian forces, but the exact number is not known.
It’s not clear if Nepali people working as soldiers in other countries are sending money back to their families in Nepal.
But sending money home is very important for many families in rural Nepal. The International Labour Organization says 3. 5 million Nepali people work in other countries, mostly in the Middle East, South East Asia, and India.