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Russian troops kill Lebanese-Ukrainian in Ukraine

Ahmad Omar Abou al-Aaila Zakaria is reportedly the second Lebanese to be killed in combat against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russian troops kill Lebanese-Ukrainian in Ukraine

A young Lebanese-Ukrainian engineer was killed during fighting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, March 2023. (Courtesy of: Michel Hallak)

BEIRUT — Russian troops killed a young Lebanese-Ukrainian man embedded with the Ukrainian armed forces in Ukraine, L'Orient Today's correspondent reported.

A Lebanese-Ukrainian resident in Kyiv also confirmed the information to L'Orient Today.

Hailing from Akkar governorate in northern Lebanon, Ahmad Omar Abou al-Aaila Zakaria had a Lebanese father and Ukrainian mother and was an engineer in his early 20s. He worked as part of a Ukrainian engineering regiment when he was killed.

No information on the date and location of the attack was available.

Read more:

Standing with Ukraine — a layered perspective from Lebanon

Zakaria is the second Lebanese person verified to have been killed in combat in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

'Ukrainian roots'

"We received the sad news of Ahmad's death yesterday," said Ahmad Krounbi, a Lebanese-Ukrainian who has been living with his family in Kyiv, Ukraine, for more than 34 years. Krounbi is well connected to the Lebanese diaspora in Ukraine.

"This young Lebanese [man] and his family had left Lebanon in 2019 as a result of the economic crisis that hit the country," he added.

"When the war broke out in Ukraine, the young man decided to take up arms as a tribute to his Ukrainian roots."

'Not the first Lebanese to be killed in this war'

Krounbi told L'Orient Today that he knows "around 15 Lebanese-Ukrainians who are fighting right now."

"Ahmad is not the first Lebanese to be killed in this war," Krounbi said. "In February, Hussein Mahdi, 38, from South Lebanon, also lost his life fighting in eastern Ukraine."

Mahdi's father, Nizar Mahdi, confirmed to L'Orient Today his son's death in the war.

Read more:

Russian invasion of Ukraine stirs both tensions and solidarity among Lebanon's Ukrainian and Russian diaspora

"These Lebanese who are losing their lives in Ukraine are not parachuted into this war," Krounbi said. "They are leaving to honor their roots, paternal or maternal. Many of them were born in Ukraine, lived in Lebanon and then returned to their native country."

The Ukrainian Embassy in Lebanon, the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as various mukhtars and municipal employees of Akkar were not immediately available for comment.

Ukraine marked the first anniversary of a Russian invasion on Feb. 24, against which it has put up fierce resistance aided by Western countries, inflicting unexpected setbacks on Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Russian troops entered Ukraine in the early hours of Feb. 24, 2022, launching one of the largest conflicts Europe has seen since World War II. A year later, Ukrainian cities have been reduced to rubble, part of the country is under Russian occupation and both sides have killed or wounded more than 150,000 people each, according to Western estimates.


BEIRUT — Russian troops killed a young Lebanese-Ukrainian man embedded with the Ukrainian armed forces in Ukraine, L'Orient Today's correspondent reported.A Lebanese-Ukrainian resident in Kyiv also confirmed the information to L'Orient Today.Hailing from Akkar governorate in northern Lebanon, Ahmad Omar Abou al-Aaila Zakaria had a Lebanese father and Ukrainian mother and was an engineer in his...