Nepali mercenaries are fighting for Russia in Ukraine, lured to kill far from their Himalayan homeland by promises of a passport and cash. But wounded returnees warn anyone tempted to join the war: "Do not come."

While Nepali soldiers-for-hire can bank in a month nearly double what they could earn in a year back home, conditions are brutal and many have been killed or wounded.

"I watched my friends die in front of me," said Surya Sharma, who asked to use a pseudonym for legal reasons.