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Zambian Student Dies at the Frontline of Russia-Ukraine War

A Zambian student, jailed in Russia was killed during a battle in Ukraine, Zambia’s foreign ministry has said. The Zambian government had sponsored the 23-year-old to study nuclear engineering at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute. Lemekhani Nyirenda had been serving nine years in jail for a drug offence. Nyirenda died in September fighting in Ukraine, but Russia has only now informed Zambia’s government. The circumstances of his release from prison are unknown, but Russia has offered freedom to some prisoners in exchange for fighting in Ukraine. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has accused Russia of pressuring imprisoned Africans to join the war against Ukraine. In a tweet, ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said: “We call on African Union and all African states to demand that Russia stop press ganging their nationals. Africans shouldn’t die for Putin’s sick imperial ambitions.”