Nepal wants Russia to stop recruiting Gurkha soldiers. Any reason to worry?

All of a sudden, Nepal claimed that Russia was recruiting its military elite, Gurkha soldiers, for the special military operation in Ukraine.

Gurkha soldiers want to serve in the Russian Armed Forces

Rumour has it that "hordes of Nepalese Gurkhas” are eager to join the Russian Armed Forces to take part in the special military operation in Ukraine. Such rumours started about six months ago. Elite Nepalese soldiers pass PT tests in order to get to serve in either British or Indian armies.

The Kathmandu Post reported that after six Nepalese citizens were killed in Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Russia to send the bodies of the deceased Nepalese fighters home and compensate the families of the victims. The ministry also asked to stop recruiting Nepalese citizens into the Russian Armed Forces.

The Nepalese embassy in Russia allegedly sends back home at least one Nepalese who left to join the Russian army. Such procedures are conducted almost every day, The Kathmandu Post said. According to Nepalese Ambassador to Russia Milan Raj Tuladhar, there are 150-200 Nepalese citizens serving in the Russian Armed Forces.

How can Russia respond to such claims?

Firstly, Russia will definitely make all payments in accordance with the concluded contracts. The bodies of Nepalese fighters will be sent home at the request of the relatives of the deceased.

Gurkhas go to Russia and Ukraine in search of work

Secondly, it is impossible to stop the Gurkhas from joining foreign armies as mercenaries as long as they have no opportunity to make money at home. They do not fight for ideological reasons as there are Gurkha fighters in the ranks of the Ukrainian army as well, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said.

Nepali journalist Birat Anupam pointed out on The Diplomat that Nepali young people leave Nepal and join foreign armies for the following reasons:

  • unemployment;
  • low wages;
  • lack of vacancies in the Armed Forces of Nepal.

Noteworthy, remittances from millions of migrant workers to Nepal accounted for almost a quarter of the country's gross domestic product last year, the World Bank said.

Nepalese gangs send Gurkhas to Russia

Thirdly, the transportation of Nepalese citizens to Russia is Nepal's prerogative entirely. Gurkha soldiers find themselves in Russia through third countries on student and tourist visas, illegally. The Russian Foreign Ministry apparently advised Kathmandu to pay attention to the problem.

It was reported on December 6 that a gang of smugglers was arrested in Nepal. Gang members charged up to $9,000 for their services to send Nepalese citizens to Russia via the United Arab Emirates.

The Gurkhas have been serving in the armies of Great Britain and India since the 19th century. They have to pass physical fitness tests to be able to serve there. There is a video of a Nepali "student” who was captured by the Ukrainians. He does not look like a fit bloke — we can see a skinny and frightened young man making up a "plausible" story about his recruitment on the go.

According to Western media, the unfortunate Gurkhas buy into Kremlin's promises and go to Russia in a hope to obtain Russian citizenship.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
Editor Dmitry Sudakov