Zambia authorities demand answers after a student prisoner died fighting for Russia in Ukraine

Zambian citizen dies in Ukraine fighting for Russia

One Zambian citizen, Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda died in Ukraine fighting for Russian Federation. The Zambian citizen, who was a student prisoner was jailed in Russia in 2020. He was serving a 9year jail term before his untimely death in Ukraine.

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23year old Nathan was pursuing Nuclear Engineering at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPHI) under a sponsorship programme of the Zambian government.

“The ministry of foreign affairs is saddened to inform that, on 9th November 2022, it was notified of the demise of Mr. Nyirenda at the battlefront of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Through the Embassy of the Republic of Zambia in Moscow, the ministry immediately proceeded to verify this information where it was established that Mr. Nyirenda indeed passed away on 22nd September in Ukraine” a statement from the ministry said. Read full statement below

Zambian authorities are currently in state of dilemma as they cannot fathom why their citizen who has been imprisoned in Russia suddenly became a soldier and eventually died in Ukraine. Zambian FM Stanley Kakubo also said the country’s authorities want to know how their citizen ended up in ukraine according to Reuters.

Kakubo revealed the young student, who was very vibrant and had lots of life was a student who was serving a nine year jail term near Moscow after being convicted for breaking Russian law. Reuters also reports that the boy’s father did not even know his son was conscripted from jail.

Russian authorities are yet to make any statement on the matter. Reports circulating also revealed its likely the young man went to war under the orders of Russian military as they recruited some number of prisoners or he went under a private military group, Wagner because Wagner group have the track record recruiting people in prison.

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