Donetsk People’s Republic says it is ready to transfer remains of American killed in Ukraine
Morozova said the American was killed Tuesday while fighting in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine. His body has been transferred to a mortuary in the DPR, Morozova said.
The DPR, a self-declared Russian-backed separatist region, said it had informed US officials and the head of the United Nations human rights monitoring mission, and “we confirm our readiness to hand over his remains to his relatives for burial,” according to Morozova.
“I want to reiterate that mercenaries are not being considered as combatants and the international humanitarian laws are not valid in their cases. These individuals are stripped of any immunity during the fighting,” she said.
“I strongly recommend that any foreign nationals who came to Ukraine with militaristic purposes immediately leave the territory of the said country. Otherwise nobody will be held responsible for their lives and security.”
While Russian media has released the name of this American, the State Department has not released his identity.
“We can confirm the death of a US citizen in Ukraine,” a State Department spokesperson said.
“Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment at this time,” the spokesperson added.
This is at least the third US citizen to die in the invasion.
Stephen Zabierslki was killed in May and Marine Corps veteran Willy Cancel was killed in April.
Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoune were foreign fighters captured in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol by Russian forces in April.
Russia is the only country that considers the DPR independent. The international community does not recognize the region and its institutions, and considers the territory to be part of Ukraine. Independent watchdog groups have long accused the separatists of a dismal human-rights track record and ill-treatment of prisoners.
CNN’s Ivana Kottasová, Oleksandra Ochman, Jonny Hallam, Uliana Pavlova, Anna Chernova, Sharon Braithwaite, Jorge Engels, Josh Pennington and Arnaud Siad contributed reporting to this story.