Evgeny Prigozhin confirms Zambian student who died in Ukraine was recruited from prison by PMC Wagner
Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin has confirmed reports that Lemekhani Nyirenda, a Zambian citizen recently reported to have died in the war in Ukraine, was recruited from a Russian penal colony by PMC Wagner, the mercenary group Prigozhin founded back in 2014.
Prigozhin published his statement on the VKontakte page for Concord, one of his companies.
23-year-old Lemekhani Nyirenda’s death was first reported by the Zambian Foreign Ministry in mid-November. The agency said Nyirenda died “on the battlefield” on September 22.
Before his arrest, Lemekhani Nyirenda was a student at the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute and worked part-time delivering food. In April 2020, he was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison after police found drugs in a package he was transporting.