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Ryan Robertson

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International

Wagner leader claims American soldier killed in Bakhmut, Ukraine

May 16, 2023

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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Another American may be dead in Ukraine. In a video posted to Telegram, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the mercenary leader of the Wagner Group, revealed what looks like the driver’s license and military identification of a retired Army soldier from Idaho. Prigozhin said the man, possibly an ex-Army Ranger, was killed while fighting for Ukraine in Bakhmut.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces offers contracts to foreign volunteer soldiers, who are seen as equals on the battlefield. In just the past week, the Ukrainian military posted its first gains in Bakhmut in months. The city in eastern Ukraine is now the sight of the longest and bloodiest European land battle since World War II.

Russia committed, and lost, tens of thousands of troops trying to take the area in what would amount to a symbolic victory. Ukraine is intent on denying Russia any victory and has also suffered heavy casualties in its bid to hold what Western intelligence agencies dubbed a strategically unimportant region.

But Ukraine’s strategy is pretty straightforward. As long as Russians are willing to die for Bakhmut, Ukrainians are willing to kill them. By keeping Russia focused on the region, Ukraine can continue to prepare for its larger spring counteroffensive.

Tens of thousands of Russian reservists and Wagner mercenaries died in Bakhmut already. Even the Russian Ministry of Defense admitted recently a commander and deputy commander were both killed near the frontlines of Bakhmut. The Ministry of Defense said the men died heroically repelling Ukrainian advances.

It’s unclear exactly how many American volunteer soldiers have been killed in Ukraine since the war started. In January, The Associated Press reported the number was up to six, and the U.S. State Department confirmed two more were killed in April. In early May, a funeral was held for another American killed in Ukraine.

So, if the man Prigozhin identified in Bakhmut is really an American, he would be at least the 10th to have fought and died in Ukraine.

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ANOTHER AMERICAN MAY BE DEAD IN UKRAINE. IN A VIDEO POSTED TO TELEGRAM, YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN, THE MERCENARY LEADER OF THE WAGNER GROUP, REVEALED WHAT LOOKS LIKE THE DRIVER’S LICENSE AND MILITARY IDENTIFICATION OF A RETIRED ARMY RANGER FROM IDAHO. PRIGOZHIN SAYS THE SOLDIER WAS KILLED WHILE FIGHTING FOR UKRAINE IN BAKHMUT.
THE UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES OFFERS CONTRACTS TO FOREIGN VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS, WHO ARE SEEN AS EQUALS ON THE BATTLEFIELD. IN JUST THE PAST WEEK, THE UKRAINIAN MILITARY POSTED ITS FIRST GAINS IN BAKHMUT IN MONTHS. THE CITY IN EASTERN UKRAINE IS NOW THE SIGHT OF THE LONGEST AND BLOODIEST EUROPEAN LAND BATTLE SINCE WORLD WAR II.
RUSSIA COMMITTED, AND LOST, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TROOPS TRYING TO TAKE THE AREA IN WHAT WOULD AMOUNT TO A SYMBOLIC VICTORY. UKRAINE IS INTENT ON DENYING RUSSIA ANY VICTORY AND HAS ALSO SUFFERED HEAVY CASUALTIES IN ITS BID TO HOLD WHAT WESTERN INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES DUBBED A STRATEGICALLY UNIMPORTANT REGION.
BUT UKRAINE’S STRATEGY IS PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD. AS LONG AS RUSSIANS ARE WILLING TO DIE FOR BAKHMUT, UKRAINIANS ARE WILLING TO KILL THEM. BY KEEPING RUSSIA FOCUSED ON THE REGION, UKRAINE CAN CONTINUE TO PREPARE FOR ITS LARGER SPRING COUNTEROFFENSIVE.
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF RUSSIAN RESERVISTS AND WAGNER MERCENARIES DIED IN BAKHMUT ALREADY. EVEN THE RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE ADMITTED RECENTLY A COMMANDER AND DEPUTY COMMANDER WERE BOTH KILLED NEAR THE FRONTLINES OF BAKHMUT. THE RUSSIAN MOD SAID THE MEN DIED HEROICALLY REPELLING UKRAINIAN ADVANCES.
IT’S UNCLEAR EXACTLY HOW MANY AMERICAN VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN UKRAINE SINCE THE WAR STARTED. IN JANUARY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTED THE NUMBER WAS UP TO 6, THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT CONFIRMED TWO MORE WERE KILLED IN APRIL. SO, IF THE MAN PRIGOZHIN IDENTIFIED IN BAKHMUT IS REALLY AN AMERICAN, HE WOULD BE AT LEAST THE 9TH TO HAVE FOUGHT AND DIED IN UKRAINE.
FOR MORE UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACT REPORTING ON THE WAR IN UKRAINE, GO TO STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.