A Nigerian man, Richard Eluemunor, who drowned while rescuing a swimmer, while his Russian wife faces racist online attacks driven by a notorious hate group leader.
Eluemunor drowned on a city beach Saturday, July 17, in Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad, after rescuing a drowning girl.
He died at age 26, less than a year after getting married, according to his obituary on the Kaliningrad State Technical University’s website.
It was gathered that he and his wife were at the beach when they spotted the girl drowning.
His wife was said to have begged him not to go into the water but he insisted.
“He was part of a group of four guys that tried to rescue the girl that was drowning. He was the first to reach her and he pushed her out of the strong current. The others were then able to get the girl to the beach. He himself was then carried deep into the sea by the current. He couldn’t get out. He was above the water for a few minutes and then went under the water,” an eyewitness narrated.
Speaking to Podyom news website on Tuesday, July 21, his wife Natalia Eluemunor said she began receiving death threats after she posted a farewell message on Instagram, prompting nationalist, anti-women blogger Vladislav Pozdnyakov to mock her husband’s death on social media.
“Pozdnyakov publishes my personal data and makes mocking photos with Richard,” she told the Podyom news.
“There are many angry and negative comments, threats and gloating, but there’s no point in contacting the police.”
In comments to the independent Dozhd broadcaster, Eluemunor said Pozdnyakov’s followers had threatened to kill, burn and drown her, but noted that her husband’s “heroic act has no skin color.”
“My main duty now is to see my husband off on his last journey. I won’t tell you where and when because they promised to kill everyone who’ll be there,” Eluemunor told Podyom.
Meanwhile, a Change.org petition signed by 1,300 people calls on the Russian government to issue a posthumous award of bravery to Eluemunor.