Everything you need to know about Nepali youths’ entry into Russian forces

Kathmandu: Of late, it has been crystal clear that Nepali youths are joining Russian forces on their own. Nepalpress.com was the first Nepali mass media outlet to report this issue. This write-up talks about all you need to know about Nepali youths’ entry into the Russian forces.

Why Nepali youths are joining Russian forces?

Nepali youths do not find good job prospects in Nepal. They are all eager to try foreign lands, mainly Europe, America, and East Asian nations like Japan and Korea, among others. For them, joining Russian forces has been one of the options.  Nepali has a natural ability to fight. They have been fighting on behalf of the British in all wars since 1815 and on behalf of India in all Indian wars since 1947. Joining the British and Indian military is part of Nepal’s formal agreement. However, joining the Russian and other military is not part of a formal agreement.

Are Nepalis attracted by Russian law of fast-track citizenship?

Russian President Putin, on 16 May, made a law making a fast-track citizenship process for all foreigners who have fought for Russian forces for one year. One Nepali, who joined Russian forces in May, said, this law attracted him to try his luck at Russian forces.

Who advertises the Russian military positions in Nepal?

It is suspected that some educational consultancies are also involved in sending Nepali youths to Russian forces in the name of ‘students’. Besides this, there are some youtube channels advertising Russian army vacancies. These channels are encouraging Nepali youths to join Russian forces. They go to Russia either as students or as tourists.

Is there any sort of pressure to join Russian forces for Nepali youths?

There is a sort of visible pressure. A Nepali youth, who joined Russian forces recently said, it was like pressure for him to join Russian forces. He had traveled to Russia as a student. But, couldn’t afford to pay his visa extension and academic tuition fees. He had two options, either borrow money from Nepal and continue his studies or join Russian forces and earn money. He switched to the second option as he had military experience in Nepal Army which made it easier for him to join Russian forces.

Is there any preventive measure taken by Nepal’s Moscow mission?

Yes. On 13 September 2022, Nepal’s Moscow embassy issued urgent information and urged all students not to get involved in issues other than academic studies. The embassy release made it clear that studying in Russian, owing to the language barrier, is a tough job. Despite embassy information, Nepali youths did not stop joining Russian forces.

How has been Nepal Government reaction to it?

Parliamentarians from across the political divide have been speaking about Nepali joining Russian forces. Members of Parliament representing the ruling CPN (Maoist Center), Nepali Congress, and main opposition CPN (UML) have raised this issue. Durga Rai from Maoist raised the issue on 18 June. Likewise, Rajendra Bajgain from Nepali Congress and Achyut Mainali from CPN (UML) raised the issue on 23 June in the lower house of parliament. Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ said his attention has been drawn to the issue. He did not clarify more.

Is there practice of joining other militaries by Nepali as a private citizen?

Yes, there are instances of Nepalis joining French Foreign Legion and US Army as private citizens.




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