Skip to content
Edit post

Over 3,000 Nepalis joined Russian army, captured POW estimates

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 25, 2024 11:04 PM 2 min read
A video obtained by the Kyiv Independent shows a Nepali POW talking to Ukrainian authorties following his capture on the battlefield. The POW estimates that Over 3,000 Nepalis may have joined the Russian army. (Courtesy)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Over 3,000 Nepalis may have joined the Russian army, a captured Nepali POW told Ukrainian authorities on video obtained exclusively by the Kyiv Independent.

Nepal's government previously estimated that up to 200 Nepalis are fighting for Russia. About 100 Nepalis have been reported missing and at least 14 have been confirmed killed while serving in the Russian army.

CNN reported in February, citing multiple sources, that 15,000 Nepalis had gone to fight for Russia.

"I guess around 3,000 to 4,000 Nepalis joined the Russian army," Rai Bikash, the captured POW said, after estimating that he saw around 200 Nepalis with his own eyes during his short time in the Russian military.

The POW said he joined the Russian army due to financial pressures, as he had debts of over $20,000. "If you get a job in the private sector (in Nepal), you will get a maximum of around $200" per month, the POW said.

"The only reason (Nepalese join the Russian army) is to make money...the one and only option is to go abroad and make money," Bikash said. The man was captured within one month, so was never paid.

The man said that Nepalis are promised a job away from the front line and given a contract that stipulates a 105 day training period, which he did not receive.

Russia is "recruiting all nationalities," the POW added.

Russia is known to have targeted men from countries including Cuba, Kazakhstan, and Somalia to fight in its army.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Kyrgyz service reported on June 24 that a Kyrgyz national was sentenced to five years in prison for fighting for Russia in Ukraine, as the country's law forbids participating in conflicts on foreign territory.

Nepalese fighters have received significant media attention in recent months, as Nepalese law only permits its citizens to serve in the British and Indian armies.

Reuters reported in January that Nepal halted issuing foreign work permits for its citizens to work in Russia until further notice due to reports of its citizens being killed while fighting in Ukraine.

Over 800 people were issued work permits for civilian work in Russia in the past two years, Reuters said, citing official data.

Nepal urged the Russian government to stop recruiting Nepalese citizens into its army in December after at least six of its nationals were confirmed killed.

‘I’d be a king in Somalia with this money:’ Foreign POWs on being lured to fight for Russia in Ukraine
Adil Muhammad, a Somali, sits in a Russian military uniform among other prisoners of war (POWs) in a press conference in Ukraine’s capital in mid-March. The former infantryman was captured in combat near Marinka in Donetsk Oblast while fighting with the Russian army in Ukraine in early 2024, five

News Feed

10:29 PM

Georgian president appeals to Constitutional Court on law on 'foreign agents.'

Georgian President Salome Zourabishvili has filed a motion against the law on "foreign agents" to the Constitutional Court of Georgia. The bill requires organizations that receive foreign funding to be labeled as "foreign agents," mirroring repressive Russian legislation used to crack down on Kremlin critics.
9:36 PM

US prohibits Ukraine from striking deep inside Russia due to fears of war spreading.

"I think it is important to understand that we do not want to see unintended consequences of an escalation that could turn this conflict into a broader one that goes beyond Ukraine. I think this is something that we all need to consider and take very seriously," Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder said in an interview with the Voice of America.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
7:30 PM

Spain says 10 more Leopard 2 tanks en route to Ukraine.

The tanks were repaired, maintained and tested at the Santa Barbara Sistemas manufacturer in the province of Seville, according to the statement. With this batch, the total number of Leopard 2A4 tanks handed over from Spain to Ukraine has reached 20.
6:34 PM

Zelensky says he 'is not afraid' of Trump's potential presidency.

Ukraine has bipartisan support and will develop relations with Washington regardless of the outcome of the presidential elections, President Volodymyr Zelensky told journalists. "If Donald Trump becomes president, we will work. I am not afraid of this," Zelensky said.
5:52 PM

Last Russian patrol ship left occupied Crimea, Ukraine's navy says.

The vessel's designation was Project 1135, Dmytro Pletenchuk, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Navy, told the Kyiv Independent. This patrol ship is not a carrier of cruise missiles, which Russia is using to attack Ukraine, but is equipped with the other weapons, he added.
12:24 PM

Georgian volunteer fighter reportedly killed in Ukraine.

In comments to The Kyiv Independent in February, the Georgian Legion, one of the leading groups of Georgian volunteer fighters, said that at least 59 Georgian fighters had been killed in battle since the beginning of the full-scale war.
10:05 AM

Russia claims Ukrainian drone attack against occupied Crimea.

Razvozhayev claimed at 4:10 a.m. local time that Russian defenses shot at least one drone over Cape Fiolent on Crimea's southern coast. The attack ended at around 6 a.m., resulting in damage after a drone fragment fell on a house but leaving no casualties, he added.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.