Nepali national Dhakal, trapped in Ukrainian Army custody, pleads for rescue


December 7, 2023


Nepali national Dhakal, trapped in Ukrainian Army custody, pleads for rescue

Siddhartha Dahal/Photo: social media

KATHMANDU: Twenty-two-year-old Siddhartha Dhakal of Kavre finds himself in a dire situation under the custody of the Ukrainian army.

Having enlisted in the Russian army to partake in the conflict against Ukraine, he was apprehended by Ukrainian forces on December 3 in the Zaporizhia region.

The number of Nepali individuals under Ukrainian control has now reached a total of 2.

In a video released by the Ukrainian army, Dhakal, along with five other Russian soldiers, was captured in the snow-covered area of Zaporizhia.

The footage depicts their arrest, transportation from a vehicle, confinement in a room, and comprehensive disclosure of personal details.

In the video, recorded on December 2, Dhakal revealed that his stint in Russia had lasted merely a month and 20 days.

Expressing distress over the loss of friends within the group of 23, including 5 Nepalis, he conveyed a message to his parents: “Hello parents… I am fine so far. Don’t know what happens next. Please convey this news to the government of Nepal to remove it as soon as possible.”

Appealing for evacuation through the village and directed towards the Prime Minister, he underscored the urgency of the matter: “Today is the 2nd (December). I don’t know when this video will be available. At that time, I had to tell the villagers… the Prime Minister… Don’t know what will happen. So far so good. I miss a lot, and my country.”

Dhakal originally went to Russia for studies, but financial constraints compelled him to seek employment.

Joining the Russian army seemed the only viable option, yet his disillusionment is evident as he disclosed, “I have received only 4 thousand rubles (Rs 5,700) so far after joining the Russian army. It has only been a month and 20 days since I joined the army. They said they would pay me 195,000 roubles. They did not give me that money. Many Nepalis have been enrolled. Now about 4-5 thousand Nepalis are working. The exact details are not known.”

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