Another American has died in fighting in Ukraine, the US State Department revealed on Friday, confirming previous claims made by Russian officials.
“We can confirm the death of a US citizen in Ukraine,” a US State Department spokesperson told Newsweek on Friday. “Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment at this time.”
On Friday, Oleg Kozhemyako, who serves as the governor of Russia’s Far Eastern Primorsky Region, said that the ‘Tiger’ military unit from his area had eliminated an American while repelling an attack from a group consisting of mercenaries from several countries.
“An American mercenary was destroyed in Ukraine,” he said on his Telegram, attaching photos of both a US passport and Ukrainian military service card, apparently issued in the name of Joshua Alan Jones. The ID documents say he was born in Tennessee and joined the Ukrainian Army on July 14 with the A3449 military unit.
According to Andrey Rudenko, a Russian military reporter, the fighter was killed not by Russian or allied forces, but by his fellow soldiers while “fleeing from the position.”
The State Department spokesperson offered a reminder that “US citizens should not travel to Ukraine, due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of US citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials.”
“US citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options,” the representative reiterated.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense has repeatedly claimed it had destroyed foreign mercenaries in Ukraine, including by conducting high-precision missile strikes. Moreover, earlier this month, authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic said that three Western nationals accused of fighting as mercenaries for Ukraine could be sentenced to death while another two are facing up to eight years behind bars for the same reason.
Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense warned that mercenaries aren’t viewed as combatants under international law and “the best thing that awaits them if they are captured alive is a trial and maximum prison terms.”
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