The body of one more Tajik national, who was killed in Ukraine, will be returned to Tajikistan.  The Tajik authorities do not comment on reports of the death of Tajik citizens in Ukraine.  

A 49-year-old national of Tajikistan, Muhammadnabi Bachgonov, who was serving his 12-year-old jail term in one of penal colonies in the Russian city of Irkutsk, was killed in Ukraine.

His relatives say Muhammadnabi was sent to Ukraine in December and was killed on his birthday, January 20.

According to them, he talked to them on the phone three days before he was killed.  He himself reportedly told them that he went to war in exchange for freedom from imprisonment.  

One of his relatives said that the body of Muhammadnabi will be returned to Tajikistan and he will be buried in his native village of Shirgovad in Vanj district of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO).  

It is to be noted that Muhammadnabi Bachgonov is not the first Russian pardoned Tajik prisoner killed in Ukraine.

There is still no accurate information about Russia pardoned Tajik prisoners killed in the war in Ukraine.

The Russian authorities do not provide any information, while the Tajik authorities do not comment on reports of the death of Tajik nationals in Ukraine.

Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, in particular, noted during a meeting with reporters in Dushanbe on February 17 that the Foreign Ministry doesn't know how Tajik nationals are being involved in a conflict between Russia and Tajikistan, “but the authorities are against participation of Tajik citizens in in this conflict from both sides.” 

Tajikistan’s legislation stipulates that the participation of a mercenary in armed conflicts or battle operations is punishable by imprisonment for a period of 12 to 20 years.

Meanwhile, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, says that to-date it has found information about ten Russia pardoned Tajik prisoners killed in Russia’s war in Ukraine.  The bodies of six of them have already been returned to Tajikistan. Some media reports say Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has recruited prisoners to fight in Ukraine. 

The BBC reported in September last year that the head of Russia's shadowy Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, has appeared in leaked footage attempting to recruit prisoners to fight in Ukraine.  Mr. Prigozhin reportedly told prisoners their sentences would be commuted in exchange for service with his group.

While Russian law does not allow commutation of prison sentences in exchange for mercenary service, Mr. Prigozhin insisted that "nobody goes back behind bars" if they serve with his group, according to the BBC.