Six Nepalis killed fighting for Russia, one captured in Ukraine

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Nepal said Monday that six citizens had been killed while serving as mercenaries in the Russian army and another had been captured in Ukraine, confirming that Nepalis are fighting for Moscow.

Kathmandu urged Moscow to stop the use of Nepali mercenaries and send any men serving back home.

Nepal’s foreign ministry said it had received information on the death of the “six Nepali citizens while serving in the Russian army”, and named another citizen “being held in Ukraine after being recruited into the Russian army”.

It did not specify where, how or when the six were killed.

The statement follows a warning in August urging citizens not to engage in security-related work in war-torn countries.

“The government of Nepal has requested the Russian government to repatriate their bodies to Nepal and compensate the victims’ families,” the ministry said.

“Nepal has requested the Russian government to not recruit Nepali citizens and to send them back as soon as possible if any are recruited.”

The announcement comes as Russian troops are trying to seize Avdiivka, an industrial town in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine that has become one of the most contested points on the front line.

Nepal, a majority-Hindu Himalayan nation, is over 5,350 kilometres (3,325 miles) from the bloodshed in Ukraine sparked by Russia’s invasion.

Many Nepalis go abroad to earn money and remittances are crucial for Nepal’s economy, equalling nearly a quarter of GDP last year, the ninth-highest rate globally, according to the World Bank.

Nepal’s Gurkhas have long been recruited into the British army, earning a reputation for fierce fighting and bravery since they first served as troops in then-British-ruled India in 1815.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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