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Tajikistan Says Citizen Killed in Eastern Ukraine Conflict

KHATLON, Tajikistan -- Tajik authorities say a Tajik national has been killed while fighting alongside pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

A prosecutor’s assistant in the southern Khatlon region, Anvar Nazarzoda, told reporters on January 8 that the man, a native of the city of Qurghonteppa, Murodali Barfiev, was killed recently.

He said Barfiev had joined the pro-Russian separatists, who hold portions of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine, last year.

It was the first time Tajik authorities have said a Tajik citizen was fighting in Ukraine.

Last month, a court in the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan sentenced a Kazakh citizen, Yevgeny Vdovenko, to five years in prison for fighting in Luhansk -- also alongside the separatists.

Kazakh and Tajik laws bar citizens from taking part in military conflicts abroad.