An American volunteer has been killed fighting in Ukraine.
“We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen in Ukraine. Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment at this time,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson told Newsweek on Friday.
A Russian official said earlier Friday that Russian forces had killed an American volunteering in defense of Ukraine amid the war between the two countries.
Oleg Kozhemyako, governor of Russia’s far eastern Primorsky Krai region, wrote on Telegram that volunteers from Primorsky “Tiger” Detachment killed a 24-year-old American in combat, stating that “an American mercenary has been destroyed in Ukraine.
And this is in the first clash literally immediately after arriving at the front line!”
Kozhemyako added that a group of trained foreign mercenaries fighting for Ukraine approached the “Tiger” volunteers, however, the volunteers “did not flinch and repulsed the attack.”
He shared images that reportedly show the man’s passport and a Ukrainian military card. The documents Kozhemyako shared, according to Newsweek, show that man was born in Tennessee and and had enrolled in the Ukrainian armed forces on July 24, with the A344 military unit.
A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said Friday that because of privacy considerations, the department could not confirm where in Ukraine the U.S. citizen had been killed, stating,
“Once again, we reiterate U.S. citizens should not travel to Ukraine, due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of U.S. citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials. U.S. citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options.”