Concerns rise as 100 Nepali nationals missing, 7 confirmed dead after joining Russian army

Kathmandu: Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash (NP) Saud has disclosed that approximately 100 Nepali individuals, who enlisted in the Russian army, are currently reported missing. The revelation comes amid rising anxieties about the fate of Nepali citizens who joined the military in Russia.

FM Saud shared that the Russian government itself provided information regarding the fate of Nepali nationals serving in their armed forces, confirming the tragic loss of seven lives. Saud stated, “Apart from that, complaints have been filed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) that around 100 people are missing and injured.”

In response to the growing concern, the Russian ambassador in Nepal was summoned to the MoFA for a discussion on the search for the missing individuals. FM Saud emphasized that the MoFA conveyed a clear message to the ambassador, expressing the Nepali government’s keen interest in resolving this matter.

It is estimated that roughly 200 Nepali youths, initially arriving in Russia on various visas such as foreign employment, study, and visit, have reportedly joined the Russian army. FM Saud voiced the government’s apprehension, stating, “Around 200 Nepali youths who went to Russia for foreign employment, study, and visit are feared to have joined the military. The concern is that a significant number may have joined the Russian army.”

Expressing deep concern, FM Saud highlighted that the number of missing individuals could surpass the current estimates. “We estimated that the number could be more than that as complaints have been filed that there are hundreds of Nepalis missing. We estimate that the number could be more than two hundred,” he added.

In a separate development, it has been revealed that some Nepali nationals are currently being held as Prisoners of War (POW) in Ukraine. FM Saud confirmed that he has initiated contact with the Ukrainian government in an effort to secure the release of these individuals, underscoring the multifaceted challenges faced by Nepali nationals abroad.