The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has claimed the life of another Nepali national, Bharat Shah, 36, from Tikapur Municipality in Kailali district. Shah, who joined the Russian army three months ago, was reported to have been killed on November 26. This unfortunate event brings the total number of Nepali fatalities in the war to seven.
Family Receives Tragic News
Shah's family was informed of his death by a colleague. In response to the news, they performed traditional Hindu cremation rites using an effigy made from kush, a holy grass. The family had been out of contact with Shah for the last three months.
Background of Bharat Shah
Before joining the Russian army, Shah served in the Nepal Police for seven years and later worked as a security guard in Dubai. His death was reported as occurring near the Russia-Ukraine border.
Nepali Nationals in Foreign Armies
The Nepali government typically allows its citizens to serve only in the armies of India and the United Kingdom. Despite this, many young Nepalis have enrolled in foreign militaries, including those of Russia and Ukraine. As of now, the Nepali government does not have comprehensive data on the exact number of its nationals serving in these armies since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Government's Stance and Future Steps
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian government have not yet officially confirmed Shah's death. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal recently acknowledged that over 200 Nepali nationals might be serving in the Russian army. The government is seeking to gather more detailed information on this matter.
Captured Nepali Nationals
Currently, four Nepali nationals serving in the Russian army are held captive by Ukrainian forces. The Ukrainian government has set specific conditions for their release, which the Nepali government is working to address.
This development highlights the complex and often perilous situations faced by Nepali nationals who enlist in foreign militaries, underscoring the need for more stringent measures and awareness regarding such enrollments.