June 4, 2023

Morozova said the American was killed in fighting in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region on Tuesday. Morozova said his body had been transferred to a morgue in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which describes itself as a Russia-backed separatist region, said it had notified U.S. officials and the head of the United Nations human rights monitoring mission that “we confirm that we are ready to hand over his body to his relatives for burial”. to Morozova.

“I would like to reiterate that mercenaries are not considered combatants and international humanitarian law is not valid in their cases. These people are deprived of any immunity in combat,” she said.

“I strongly advise any foreigners who come to Ukraine for military purposes to leave the country’s territory immediately. Otherwise, no one will be held responsible for their life and safety.”

While Russian media released the American’s name, the State Department has not released his identity.

“We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen in Ukraine,” a State Department spokesman said.

“Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment at this time,” the spokesman added.

In April, former U.S. Marine Willie Joseph Kansell was killed while fighting alongside Ukrainian troops in Ukraine.

This is at least the third U.S. citizen killed in the invasion.

Stephen Zabierslki was killed in May, and Marine Corps veteran Willy Cancel was killed in April.

Two American volunteers fighting for Ukraine were detained by Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk. U.S. citizens Alexander John Robert Drucker, 39, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Andy Big Yuhuang, 27, of Hartzel, Alabama, had been with the Ukrainian troops north of Kharkov fought side by side.
CNN reported that a third U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Grady Kulpathi, was missing in action. His wife and close friend last heard from Kulpassi in April. A family friend told CNN he chose to volunteer with Ukrainians in Ukraine, but did not initially envision himself fighting on the front lines.
Alexander John-Robert Drueke (left) and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh (right) disappeared in June amid fears they may have been captured by Russian troops.
In June, a DPR court also sentenced two British citizens and a Moroccan national to death for accusing them of being “mercenaries” in Ukraine, state media RIA Novosti reported at the time.

Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoune are foreign fighters captured by Russian troops in April in the city of Mariupol, Ukraine.

Pinner’s family later said they were “shocked” by “all the rights that should be granted to prisoners of war” under the Geneva Conventions.
A month later, two more Britons were charged as “mercenaries”, the Donetsk news agency reported at the time.

Russia is the only country that considers the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to be independent. The international community does not recognize the region and its institutions, and considers the territory part of Ukraine. Independent watchdog groups have long accused separatists of a dismal human rights record and abuse of prisoners.

CNN’s Ivana Kottasová, Oleksandra Ochman, Jonny Hallam, Uliana Pavlova, Anna Chernova, Sharon Braithwaite, Jorge Engels, Josh Pennington and Arnaud Siad reported on this story.

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