American volunteer fighter killed in Ukraine

Latest US casualty comes as conflict in war-torn country passes six months

A Ukrainian firefighter extinguishes a blaze following an air strike on the town of Sloviansk, Donetsk region. AFP
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A US volunteer has died while fighting in Ukraine, the State Department confirmed to The National on Friday.

“We can confirm the death of a US citizen in Ukraine. Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment at this time,” a State Department representative said.

The identity of the individual was not immediately known.

A Russian official earlier on Friday said that an American had been killed by Russian forces from the Primorsky “Tiger” Detachment, Newsweek reported, citing Mr Kozhemyako's Telegram channel.

Oleg Kozhemyako, governor of Russia's far eastern Primorsky Krai region, did not specify where the American fighter was killed.

The American's death comes as Russia's invasion of Ukraine reached the six-month mark, with the conflict locked in a stalemate. The US earlier this week announced plans to send a $3 billion military aid package that would support Ukraine's long-term defensive efforts.

The volunteer fighter is the latest American casualty in the war in Ukraine and follows the deaths of Luke Lucyszyn and Bryan Young last month. Another American, Stephen Zabielski, was killed on May 15 in the village of Dorozhnyanka, according to an obituary from a New York media outlet.

At least three other Americans have been killed while fighting in Ukraine. The casualties include former US marine Willy Joseph Cancel and Minnesota native James Hill, according to their relatives.

Early in the conflict, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a plea for volunteers from around the world to join the fight against Russia.

Washington has sought to discourage US citizens from joining the fight, warning that the country is not safe.

Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski was killed in March when his vehicle was struck by incoming fire and days earlier, Brent Renaud, another US journalist and documentarian, was killed in the Kyiv suburb of Irpin.

The Ukraine war - in pictures

Updated: August 26, 2022, 5:57 PM
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