The Ukrainian military will hold a farewell ceremony in Kyiv to honor Tseng Sheng-guang (曾聖光), a Taiwanese man who died fighting for Ukraine last week.
“He proved himself as a disciplined, balanced, brave warrior,” Vasylyna Nakonechna, a press officer for the Carpathian Sich Battalion, told CNA on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Hualien native who was a member of the International Legion of Ukraine’s territorial defense forces died in the battlefield on Nov. 2 while performing a combat mission in the contested Luhansk region, making him the first Taiwanese volunteer combatant to die in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
According to Nakonechna, Tseng had previously served two years in the Taiwanese army, and on Aug. 19 he joined the ranks of the Carpathian Sich, an infantry unit made up of foreign and Ukrainian volunteers.
The battalion press officer indicated she had met Tseng several times prior to his death and that he knew Spanish.
“He was a nice boy, always smiling and smart,” she said, noting that while some people [volunteers] come to Ukraine “because they cannot do another work,” Tseng was not like that as he came to Ukraine wanting to fight against evil and help the civilians, including women and children.
Nakonechna said the battalion consists of several companies, and the one which Tseng served in was especially saddened by the loss, but it understands that “you can lose everyone in every second, and at any time.”
Meanwhile, deputy chief of the Carpathian Sich Ruslan Andriyko described the Taiwanese as a courageous defender of Ukraine, and offered his respect to Tseng’s family.
“To leave a peaceful life, home and family to get into the hell of war, mud, rain, frost, a cold trench in which the hot hearts of brothers beat under constant shelling and weeks without sleep … these are the conditions he spent his last days,” Andriyko wrote on his Facebook account.
Nakonechna said Tseng’s body has been transported to Dnipro, which is located southeast of the Ukrainian capital.
A farewell ceremony will be held in Kyiv in his honor, but the date has yet to be confirmed, she added.
According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Tuesday, his family have left for the Eastern European nation to identify his body and deal with related matters.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel