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Zambia to bring home body of student killed in Ukraine war

Lemekhani Nyirenda

The body of Zambian student Lemekhani Nyirenda, who died fighting for Russia in Ukraine, is due to arrive back home on Sunday, Zambia’s foreign minister has announced.

Stanley Kakubo told parliament that the body had now reached the Russian port city of Rostov-on-Don and a Zambian diplomat would accompany it back to Lusaka, the foreign ministry has tweeted.

The 23-year-old died in September but news of the death only came out last month. It left his family and the Zambian government pressing the Russian authorities for answers.

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Nyirenda, who had been studying nuclear engineering in Moscow, was serving a drugs-related prison sentence in Russia.

His sister Muzang’alu Nyirenda said he had been an unwitting drugs courier.

The foreign minister told parliament on Friday that the Russian government confirmed Nyirenda was pardoned in August “to join a military operation in exchange for amnesty”.

Mr Kakubo said he was still asking the Russians for more details about the death of the young Zambian.

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