Two American volunteer soldiers, a Canadian and a Swede were killed a week ago in an alleged Russian tanks ambush in the Donetsk region in Donbas, their commander Ruslan Miroshnichenko confirmed.
The Americans killed in eastern Ukraine on July 18 have been identified over the weekend as Luke “Skywalker” Lucyszyn, a 31-year-old who first went to Ukraine to be a medic, and Bryan Young, a military man who went to Ukraine “to protect the free world”.
Along with Canada’s Emile-Antoine Roy-Sirois and Edvard Selander Patrignani of Sweden they were part of a special ops unit within the Ukrainian territorial defense forces in Seversk.
Last Monday they were sent on a mission to the village of Grigorovka, some 3km northwest of Seversk, which has recently been the scene of heavy fighting and where advancing Russian forces attempted a river crossing.
According to a document, the group of mercenaries completed their task but it was faced at the end of the mission with at least six Russian tanks, four armored personnel carriers, and up to 70 infantrymen.
The death of Lucyszyn and Young was confirmed by the US State Department spokesperson on Sunday, though its report failed to mention them by name out of respect to their families.
After a call by Ukraine’s president Vladimir Zelensky, thousands of foreign fighters arrived in Ukraine to form the so-called “International Legion” at the start of the conflict.
The legion counted almost 7.000 members at the start but is now down to 2,741 after many of them were killed, some were detained by Russian troops and others fled abroad complaining about poor equipment and disorder in the ranks of the Kyiv forces.
Several Americans have now died in Ukraine so far, including video journalist Brent Renaud and Minnesotan Jimmy Hill, while a few American soldiers, including Alexander John-Robert Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc, were detained by Russian troops and are awaiting trial.