Sunday, July 14, 2024

Government Sponsored Student fighting alongside Russian soldiers against Ukraine dies in battle


A Zambian man fighting alongside Russian soldiers against Ukraine has died, becoming the country’s first confirmed casualty in the war, Hon. Stanley K. Kakubo, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation has revealed

In April 2020, Mr Nyirenda contravened the laws of the Russian Federation and as such, he was convicted and sentenced to nine years and six months imprisonment.

However, it has been established that while serving his prison term, Mr Nyirenda was allegedly recruited to fight in Ukraine.

Mr Kakubo said Mr Nyirenda’s remains have been transported to the Russian border town of Rostov in readiness for repatriation to Zambia.

He said the deceased was a government-sponsored student, who was pursuing nuclear engineering at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute in the Russian Federation.

“The Ministry is saddened to inform the nation 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, 2022, in Ukraine.

The Embassy further established that Mr Nyirenda’s remains have since been transported to the Russian border town of Rostov in readiness for repatriation to Zambia, ” he said.

The Minister said in April 2020, Mr Nyirenda contravened the laws of the Russian Federation and as such, was subsequently convicted and sentenced to nine years and six months imprisonment.

He said Mr Nyirenda was serving his sentence at Tyer Medium security prison on the outskirts of Moscow.

“In view of this very sad development, the Zambian government has requested the Russian authorities to urgently provide information on the circumstances under which a Zambian citizen, serving a prison sentence in Moscow, could have been recruited to fight in Ukraine and subsequently lose his life,” he said.

Mr Kakubo said his Ministry is deeply saddened by the untimely demise of Mr Nyirenda under such circumstances and commiserates with the family on their loss.

“As Minister, i have been personally in touch, and will maintain contact, with the family of the deceased in order to provide an update on more details surrounding their loved one’s death, once official communication is received from the Russian authorities,” he said.


  1. Sending foreign prisoners to fight your wars? embarrassing. And why is the repatriation of the body falling on the Zambian government?? Russia got the man killed in their war – surely, responsibility to fly the body home should lie with Russia, shouldn’t it? Russia has really messed up on all fronts. For our dead man, this is unacceptable. Russia must be taken to task over it & compensation paid to Mr Nyirenda’s family. Apologies will not be enough.


    • When I heard that Black Russian soldiers are rapping Ukrainians, I didn’t get.
      PF also sent “students” to Sudan, how many have died?

    • This story is poorly presented. Can we get our Diggers journalists to tell us the full story?
      Meaningless sentences need clarification. Like this one:
      “Mr Nyirenda contravened the laws of the Russian Federation and as such, was subsequently convicted and sentenced to nine years and six months imprisonment”
      Contravened WHAT law?

    • CNN has reported that prisoners are being offered freedom and money as part of the deal if they accept to be conscripted to fight in Ukraine. Families are also contacted. So, there’s another side of the story. The late may have opted to go for it which makes it difficult for GRZ to intervene. Let’s wait for more info

  2. This is really sad. So Russia ran out of bodies to fight and decided to use prisoners. I’m sure didn’t even receive proper training. This really annoying. They can’t even have the decency of paying for repatriation of his remains let alone compensate the family. For those that have been on the side of Russia in this war, this how these mong.rels treat people of color.

  3. Whn a foreign national is convicted and sent to prison or detained, his embassy is informed so that it can provide “consular services”. What consular services was the Zambian mission providing to late Nyirenda? Was the Zambian embassy in Moscow aware of his deployment in a war zone or even his recruitment into the Russian military? Wht do we make of this: Russia is short of soldiers to fight in its war with Ukraine. The statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs is just not sufficiengly informative.

    • The story is terribly presented. In a fully baked story all these questions you’ve raised should have been addressed.

  4. If consular services had been available to late Nyirenda from the Zambian embassy in Moscow, the Minister of Foreign Affairs would not be asking for clarification from the Russian government. This is simply not good enough. Nyirenda was killed in September and this is November! It means nothing has changed in Zambian embassies since 1990. I have a personal experience in one of the Western countries with an embassy staff member. It was pathetic.

    • I totally agree. Zambian embassies are mostly incompetent. They don’t really seem to know what they’re doing. I wonder how they’re selected to work in foreign countries. They need proper training before getting dispatched to foreign countries. What a shame.

  5. Let’s have a list of all Zambians incarcerated in Ru+ssian prisons to take stock of ourselves. Already, it is a diplomatic fallout. Nyirenda fighting a war he knows nothing of!

    He must have been used as a Pony in the Kasparov-Kapove encounter for the checkmate.

  6. Zambia was supposed to be neutral at the UN but we chose sides forgetting that Russia is a friend to Zambia not an enemy, the problem we follow the west’s influence on us

    • So Russia uses a Zambian prisoner in a war it created for no good reason, this Zambian dies thanks to their reckless, selfish acts but you want to blame Zambia’s lack of neutrality as the cause? What nonsense.
      Russia doesn’t give a damn about Zambia or black people, what more proof do you need?

    • So you have a country that sends your countryman to fight in a war and is killed and you still believe they are your friends? He was jailed 9 yrs because working as a part time curier in Russia whilse stydying, someone gave him a parce to deliver that had drugs and when the police could not identify the person who gave it to him, he took the fall, He shouldnt have been drafted for war if Russia was truelly Zambia’s friend, seeing that he was sent to Russia by the Zambian government and therefre any harm to him would be embarrasing to the Zambian Government

    • When it comes to diplomatic relations we need to consider both, we should have tried to bring him back home at the time of his sentence

    • Muningah, are you saying his father and the zambian goverment are lying that they only knew he was in the war when Russia told them he was dead? Per your point, at what point did the family give their consent that he must go to war when the father is claiming to know nothing about it as well as the government? Please stop making excuses for this inhumane treatment of your own fellow countryman. He went to Russia to study, ended up in as 9 year sentence and then lonely on a war front and then died …This is the worse any man can face.

    • Putins Russia is not your friend, do not be naive. Putins government is literally a ruthless criminal empire of oligachs. We are not even supposed to be sitting on the fence being “neutral”. We have to have a spine and be bold, not be afraid of bullies.

  7. From my humble experience the New Dawn being only in government for less than two years is trying its level best. I have been there and know the conduct of some embassy staff. I hope the New Dawn administration will take it up very seriously and I wish government well.

  8. Why would the government send someone to study nuclear engineering? And what could have done that was so egregious that he was sentenced to 9 years in the Russian penal system? The prisons in Russia are so brutal that if a prisoner was offered a choice to go to war or to remain in prison, he would choose to fight. The question here is the legality of the whole enterprise. I am a strong supporter of Russia, but to be honest, I have to criticise the courage of the Russians. While Ukrainians have been willing to fight to the death, the Russians have left the fighting to the militia or the Chechens. In recent weeks, they have run from battle after battle, culminating last week in the shameful retreat from the city of Kherson. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Russian men ran away to escape…

  9. In my case, I was not in trouble with the law and was not looking for help from the embassy. I just wanted my country’s representatives to know about my presence and where I was staying. But the officer was not interested at all.

    • Willingly signed? Are you serious? What choice did he have? In a foriegn country facing 9 yrs with no consular help and you call it wlling. He shouldnt even have been offered that option in the first place seeing that he was a government of Zambia student sent to study in Russia. Any harm to him would have to be a big embarrasment to Zambia.

  10. And hh was celebrating and getting kudos for having claimed that he had successfully evacuated all Zambian nationals. Beans! The man is a fraud. 2026 do the right thing

  11. those are ars the rules and practies of socalism socialism which membe dreams to bring into zambi. fortunately membe shall only end up in dreams and not in actuqlization

  12. pf uk branch is very ignorant and has gone and stayed in uk with ignorance of highest nature. what ashame . hh never slept until all the zambians who were in danger zones had been evacuated. At that time the late Mr nyirenda was not in a danger zone but as a prisoner, he was just forced or coerced to be in regiment and go to the danger zone or warfront in ukrine and fight. Like what some wise people had to say ,he was probably promised freedom after the war.

    • The ignorant one here is the one who uses hearsay without any factual evidence to form a narrative. You have no evidence that he was offered freedom if he was conscripted. Stop thinking with your tribe and party bias webo!

    • Also why didn’t the govt fight yo bring him home so that he could serve his term in zambia? Stop supporting f00lish things. Hh is a big liar and fraud. Ati I have evacuated all Zambians. Matarko yak0

    • 14@ lawyer Paul.

      ” HH never slept….” Do you share his bed plus HH’s wife, for you to say HH never slept.?

      That’s what happens when you think in your vernacular language and make direct translation into English. Go back to school…

    • Don’t waste your time arguing with that mental case who used to call himself Kaizer Zulu. He’s too busy living off subsidies in the UK and has no capabilities of reasoning. Total clown.

  13. Putin shamelessly using convicts as conon foddler…these chaps are promised up $10,000 and more to their families with a promise to freedom, these are the guys who are given obselete T72 tanks without updated infrared tech just sitting ducks for US and European missiles.

  14. Too bad for the youn man but the govt must tell the nation the exact story of what happened.How did this young man found himself in the battle front,what were the terms of conditions.Alot has being said ,now what is the say from govt.

  15. Since when did students abroad become trained soldiers to fight for foreign countries without the knowledge of their countries they came from??????????? who sponsored a drug dealer???

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