The Russian Ministry of Defense has recruited up to 15,000 Nepali citizens to fight in the war against Ukraine, CNN reports.
CNN cites several sources, including former Nepalese foreign minister Bimal Rai Paudyal, who has said that 14,000 to 15,000 Nepali citizens are fighting on the Russian side in Ukraine.
According to CNN, Nepali citizens who want to join the Russian army come to the country on tourist visas, and the Russian government offers them a monthly salary of $2,000, as well as the opportunity to receive Russian citizenship on an expedited basis.
The Nepalese authorities have officially announced that about 200 citizens are fighting on the Russian side, of which at least 13 have died on the front. At the same time, it is reported that around 100 people are missing and another four are in Ukrainian captivity.
The “Mediazona” website has compared what was reported by CNN with the data of the Border Guard of the Russian Federal Security Service and concluded that the number of tourists entering Russia from Nepal has increased rapidly, but not as much as CNN’s sources claim.
According to the data of the Border Guard, 72 tourists from Nepal entered Russia in 2022, and 1039 tourists in 2023. Most of them arrived in the fourth quarter of 2023.