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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Sri Lankan Mercenaries: At least 16 Killed in Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Deputy Defense Minister Confirms

Sri Lankan Mercenaries: At least 16 Killed in Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Deputy Defense Minister Confirms

Deputy Defense Minister of Sri Lanka, Pramitha Tennakoon, announced on Wednesday that at least 16 Sri Lankan mercenaries have been killed while fighting in the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia has reportedly suffered tens of thousands of casualties since invading Ukraine over two years ago, and they have been seeking more troops globally.

India and Nepal are among the countries whose citizens have also joined the conflict, resulting in confirmed deaths.

Sri Lanka initiated an inquiry last week regarding the recruitment of its citizens for the conflict and identified the involvement of 288 retired soldiers from the island nation.

sixteen soldiers from Sri Lanka have been confirmed dead in the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

It is unclear which side they were fighting for, but a ruling party lawmaker suggested they had been recruited to join the Russian army.

The soldiers were reportedly lured with promises of high salaries and non-combat roles, but ended up in combat situations.

The Sri Lankan government is treating the recruitment of its citizens as a human trafficking case and is in talks with both Ukrainian and Russian authorities to bring them back safely.

Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Tennakoon, expressed concern over the country's relationship with Russia and Ukraine as complaints poured in from relatives of citizens who had traveled to those countries to join the war effort.

The defense ministry had recently initiated an investigation into the matter, but there are no travel restrictions for Sri Lankans.

Amid an economic crisis, large numbers of Sri Lankans have left the country.

Last week, police arrested two retired army officers, including a major general, for illegally recruiting for Russian mercenary firms.

Sri Lanka has repeatedly warned its citizens against joining foreign conflicts.

India and Nepal have confirmed that their citizens have been fighting with the Russian army in Ukraine over the past year.

At least 19 Nepalis have been reportedly killed in combat.

Russia's army has successfully held off a Ukrainian counter-offensive and has made gains due to Kyiv's ammunition and manpower shortages.

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