Nepalese police have arrested 10 people for allegedly inciting unemployed young men to join the Russian army.
The suspects charged people up to $9,000 for “tourist visas” and sent them to Russia via third countries, mainly the United Arab Emirates, Kathmandu district police chief Bhupendra Khatri told Reuters . They were then recruited into the Russian army, the official said, adding that this was human trafficking.
Nepalese authorities had previously asked Russia not to recruit its citizens to fight in Ukraine because at least six Nepalis have already been killed, the Kathmandu Post reported this week.
On Monday, Ukrainian military journalist Andriy Tsaplienko published a video of five Russian prisoners of war captured by the Ukrainian army, taken in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia. In the video, they all identify themselves and state that they all serve in the Russian 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment. While three of them come from Dagestan and other parts of Russia, one prisoner claims to be from Nepal.
“The fighter doesn’t speak Russian…at all. It’s about a Nepalese mercenary, and how the Nepalis became a Russian occupier, we will tell separately, ”Tsaplienko wrote. POLITICO was unable to independently verify the video.
The Kremlin has so far issued no official reaction. However, Russia is actively recruiting foreigners to participate in its invasion of Ukraine. POLITICO previously reported that Russia was recruiting Cuban citizens to fight Ukraine. The most common motivation for mercenary soldiers is money, which they do not always receive from the Kremlin.