US volunteer fighter killed in Ukraine, Wagner chief says

MOSCOW – The head of Russia’s private Wagner mercenary group on Tuesday said a United States volunteer had died fighting alongside Ukrainian troops in the country’s east.

In a video shared by Russian military bloggers, Mr Yevgeny Prigozhin showed the body of what he said was an American laying in the rubble of a building.

The clip shows the Wagner chief walking with his men at night, and explosions can be heard – but it is not clear where or when it was filmed.

Standing beside the body, which appears to have suffered a stomach wound, Mr Prigozhin said: “He came to meet us. Citizen of the United States of America”.

He shows the camera what appears to be the soldier’s identity documents, without giving a full name.

“We will return him to the US. We will put him in a coffin (with) the American flag. With respect, because he didn’t die in a grandfather’s bed but in the war,” the Wagner boss said.

Mr Prigozhin’s paramilitary group is fighting on the front line in the bloody battle for Bakhmut, a flashpoint town in eastern Ukraine.

AFP could not independently verify Mr Prigozhin’s claims. AFP

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