A Zambian student serving 9 years and six months in a Russian prison has died fighting alongside Russian troops in Ukraine, the Zambian government announced Monday.
Zambian Foreign Minister Stanley Kakubo says Russian officials informed the Zambian government of the death of 23-year-old Lemekhane Nyireda, who was a government-sponsored student before he was sentenced for unspecified crimes in April. of 2020.
Kakubo said the Zambian government was seeking answers from Russia about how Nyirenda ended up on the battlefield in Russia’s war against Ukraine.
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“In view of this sad event, the Zambian government has requested the Russian authorities to provide urgent information on the circumstances in which a Zambian citizen, serving a prison sentence in Moscow, might have been recruited to fight in Ukraine. and subsequently lose his life,” Kakubo said on Monday.
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It said the Zambian embassy in the Russian capital of Moscow had established that Nyirenda died on September 22 and that her remains were transported to the Russian border city of Rostov before repatriation to Zambia.
Before his prison sentence, Nyirenda was studying nuclear engineering at the Moscow Institute of Engineering Physics. He was serving his sentence in the Tyer medium-security prison outside Moscow, according to the Zambian government.