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.