Russia is forcing imprisoned Africans into the frontline of their war against Ukraine, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has alleged.
This accusation was contained in a tweet, by Oleh Nikolenko, a Ukrainian ministry spokesman: “Putin is sending African citizens imprisoned in Russia to the war in Ukraine. A former Zambian student was killed.
“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.”
Lusaka is seeking answers from Moscow over the death in combat of Lemekhani Nyirenda, a 23-year-old Zambian student at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute.
He was serving a jail for a drug offence but was mysteriously killed in Ukraine in September.
The circumstances of his release from prison are unknown, but Russia has offered freedom to some prisoners in exchange for fighting in Ukraine, a BBC Africa report noted.