A 24-year-old Memphis native fighting alongside Ukraine soldiers in the hotly contested Donbas region of the besieged country is the latest American killed by Russian-backed militias, the State Department confirmed, declining to reveal the American’s identity.
Donetsk People’s Republic militia officers said that the US national, whom they named, was killed in combat on Tuesday literally immediately after arriving at the front line.
DPR spokesperson Darya Morozova said that the American was killed in Yegorovka on Aug. 23 and that fleeing Ukrainian militants have left his body on the battlefield, noting that the DPR was prepared to hand his body over to his family.
Stressing foreign soldiers are not protected by international humanitarian law nor are entitled to combatant immunity, something that both Russia and the separatist militias emphasized, Morozova urged all foreigners arriving to fight in Ukraine to leave the country as soon as possible since no one would guarantee their safety.
The governor of Russia’s eastern Primorsky Krai region, Oleg Kozhemyako, said on Telegram that the Memphis-born man he called an ‘American mercenary’ was killed in combat by volunteers from Primorsky “Tiger” Detachment.
Kozhemyako allegedly also shared images of the US passport and Ukrainian military card of the killed American they identify as Joshua Jones from Memphis, Tennessee, who had enrolled with the A344 military unit of Ukraine’s armed forces on July 24.
Ukrainian military card indicated that Jones was a “marksman” or a “shooter.”
Jones is the latest in the string of at least half a dozen US nationals whose deaths have now been reported in Ukraine during the war.
American volunteer soldiers Luke Lucyszyn and Bryan Young were reportedly ambushed and killed by Russian tanks in Donetsk on July 18, Stephen Zabielski was killed in May in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, US Marine veteran Willy Joseph Cancel died during a battle in April, while video journalist Brent Renaud and Jimmy Hill were killed while waiting in a bread line.