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April 23, 2024, Tuesday
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16 more Nepalis serving in Russian army killed

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Sixteen more Nepalis serving in the Russian army have reportedly died fighting against the Ukrainian forces.

According to a source at the foreign ministry, DNA samples of the members of the families of the 16 people are being collected in Nepal. The samples will be sent to Russia for identification purposes.

This takes the official tally of Nepalis killed in the Russia-Ukraine war to 33.

Over 200 family members have registered separate complaints at the Department of Consular Affairs for the rescue of their relatives serving in the Russian army. Nepal has already made clear that it does not allow its citizens to be recruited into any foreign army other than those it has signed bilateral agreements with, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement earlier.

The government, in two different notices issued earlier, asked its citizens not to visit Russia without taking a ‘no-objection’ letter from the Department of Consular Affairs.

On March 7, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha had a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and discussed the issue of Nepali citizens serving in the Russian army.

During the talk, the Russian minister pledged to act on the requests of the kin of Nepalis serving in the Russian forces.

Shrestha requested Lavrov to expedite the repatriation of dead Nepalis, compensate the families of the deceased and facilitate the return of Nepali citizens serving in the Russian army, according to the foreign ministry. Russian authorities have agreed to provide compensation to the victims’ families.

Kirtu Bhandari, who leads a campaign on behalf of the families of the Nepali nationals serving in the Russian Army, informed the Post that “as many as 116 Nepalis are injured, 274 have gone missing, and over 620 have joined the Russian army”.

In an interview with the state-owned National News Agency, the then foreign minister NP Saud in January had said the number could be much higher, adding that the ministry has received complaints that around 100 Nepalis serving in the Russian army were either missing and injured while battling Ukrainian forces.