Nepal grapples with repatriation struggles for fallen soldiers in Russia-Ukraine War


December 8, 2023


Nepal grapples with repatriation struggles for fallen soldiers in Russia-Ukraine War

Raj Kumar Roka/ BBC

KATHMANDU: Nepal faces a significant challenge in repatriating the bodies of six Nepali nationals who lost their lives while serving in the Russian Army during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War. The impoverished status of Nepal adds to the complexity of the repatriation process.

Nepali Ambassador to Russia, Milan Tuladhar, revealed to the BBC that there has been no progress in the matter, leaving the families of the deceased in a state of uncertainty. The Foreign Ministry of Nepal has sought answers from Russia, officially urging Moscow to cease the deployment of Nepali soldiers. Additionally, the Russian ambassador in Nepal has been summoned to underscore Kathmandu’s position on the issue.

The identified soldiers who sacrificed their lives are Sandip Thapaliya from Gorkha, Rupak Karki from Kapilvastu, Dewan Rai from Kaski, Pitam Karki from Syangja, Raj Kumar Rokka from Dolakha, and Gangaraj Moktan from Ilam.

The sister of one of the deceased soldiers, speaking anonymously to the BBC, expressed her plea for compensation and assistance in repatriating her brother’s body. She disclosed, “The authorities have informed me that the bodies have already been buried by the Russian military. They should support us by negotiating with the Russian authorities.”

Adding to the complexity of the situation, an unnamed government spokesperson, as reported by the Kyiv Post, stated that there were also an undisclosed number of Nepali nationals fighting alongside Ukrainian forces.

The Nepali government continues its diplomatic efforts to address this challenging situation, seeking cooperation from Russia to facilitate the repatriation process and ensuring proper communication with the families of the fallen soldiers.