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Taiwanese man dies fighting in Ukraine war

TAIPEI - A Taiwanese man who volunteered to fight in Ukraine has died on the battlefield, the Foreign Ministry said. He is believed to be the first person from Taiwan killed in the conflict.

The ministry said a Ukrainian field commander confirmed the death of Mr Tseng Sheng-kuang, 25, who was serving with a battalion of volunteer soldiers.

The cause of death was not given by the ministry, but Taiwan’s semi-official Central News Agency said he was injured during combat in the eastern city of Luhansk and died from blood loss.

“We express our sincere condolences for our countryman who sacrificed his life in the war in Ukraine, and pay tribute to his spirit of assisting the Ukrainians in defending freedom and democracy,” the ministry said in a statement late on Saturday.

The ministry said it would help Mr Tseng’s family with arrangements to travel to Ukraine to identify the body.

The news report said Mr Tseng was an army veteran from Taiwan’s indigenous Amis minority.

His wife told the news agency that Mr Tseng travelled to Ukraine in June and they had last been in touch on Oct 23 when he was about to begin a five-day mission.

She then received a message last Wednesday sent from his mobile phone by a colleague saying he had been injured in fighting and had died en route to hospital.

She described her husband as “an honest man with a strong sense of justice”.

There has been an outpouring of sympathy for Ukraine across Taiwan, with the war-torn nation’s plight resonating with many on the island because it faces the constant threat of invasion by neighbouring China.

Beijing claims self-ruled Taiwan as its territory and Russia’s invasion has deepened fears that China might attempt a similar move to annex the island.

According to the local media, some10 Taiwanese are fighting in Ukraine as volunteer soldiers. - AFP

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