KATHMANDU, Dec 4: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) officially confirmed on Monday the deaths of six Nepali nationals who were fighting alongside the Russian army in Ukraine.
In a statement, the MoFA clarified that these deaths were confirmed despite Nepal having no policy permitting Nepali nationals to join foreign armies, except for those recruited into the national armies of friendly countries under traditional agreements. Nepali nationals traditionally join the armies of India and the UK.
MoFA identified the Nepali nationals who lost their lives in Ukraine as Sandeep Thapalia of Gorkha, Rupak Kari of Kapilvastu, Dewan Rai of Kaski, Pritam Karki of Syangja, Raj Kumar Roka of Ilam, and Ganga Raj Moktan of Ilam.
The MoFA said that it has formally requested the Russian government to expedite the repatriation of the deceased Nepalis' bodies and provide compensation to their grieving families. Simultaneously, MoFA also urged the Russian government to refrain from recruiting Nepali citizens into the Russian army.
Additionally, the MoFA revealed that Nepal has requested Russia to repatriate any Nepali nationals who may have recently joined the Russian army. "Diplomatic efforts are underway to secure the return of Bibek Khatri, a Nepali citizen currently held captive in Ukraine after joining the Russian army," the MoFA stated in the press statement, while confirming the report that one Nepali is in the captivity of Ukraine.
As there are unofficial reports that many Nepali nationals are being lured to joint into the russian army, MoFA has also appealed to all ordinary citizens, excluding those engaged in government work, recipients of Russian government scholarships, and professionals in business, to travel to Russia only through the Consular Service Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tripureshwar.
Additionally, the MoFA has urged all Nepali nationals to refrain from joining the armies of war-torn countries based on false information or the temptation of monetary gains. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs requests all concerned not to join the army of war-torn countries on the basis of false information or temptation," it added.