The two American volunteer soldiers recently killed fighting Russian troops in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region have been identified as Luke Lucyszyn and Bryan Young.
Lucyszyn and Young were part of the Territorial Defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and stationed at the village of Hryhorivka near the Siversk town, Ukrainian commander Ruslan Miroshnichenko told Politico over the weekend.
The two Americans were killed alongside a Canadian, identified as Emile-Antoine Roy-Sirois, and a Swedish citizen, Edvard Selander Patrignani, after a Russian tank opened fire during an hourslong battle on July 18.
“The first shell injured Luke,” Miroshnichenko said. “Three guys, Edward, Emile, and Bryan, they immediately attempted to help Luke, to do first aid, and evacuate him from this spot. Then the second shell killed them all.”
“He didn’t go there to be a hero,” Lucyszyn’s mother, Kathryn Lucyszyn, told NBC News. “He went there because he wanted to help people.”
The commanding officer said that Young had a cheerful smile and was a “good soldier.”
Lucyszyn is an American of Ukrainian descent born in 1991. He served as a police officer in the U.S.
Despite his age, Lucyszyn “behaved as a man, as a good soldier,” the commanding officer told CBS News.
Miroshnichenko told Politico that Young, born in 1971, was an “American military man” who was moved to the reserves after getting injured. He said Young came to Ukraine because he “took an oath to protect the Free World.”
Ukraine’s International Legion, comprising thousands of foreigners to fight for Ukraine, was announced by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in March.
According to the United Nations Office for High Commissioner for Human Rights, as of July 18, at least 5,110 people have been killed and 6,752 injured since the invasion started in late February. At least four of those killed were Americans.
Russia launched a missile attack on the port of Odessa on Saturday, less than a day after the two countries signed a deal to allow the export of blockaded grain supplies, The Washington Post reported.
The attack could be an indicator that Russia’s operational pause in recent weeks, possibly aimed at regrouping troops before doubling down on Ukraine’s south and east, could be coming to an end.
The U.S. is sending Ukraine more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), each with a range of about 70 kilometers, along with hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery shells, as part of its $270 million pledge, according to Voice of America.
“We’re seeing Ukraine employing very precise, very accurate targeting of critical Russian positions,” a senior U.S. defense official told media on Friday. “They’re [Russia] paying a high price for every inch of territory they try to take or hold.”
The U.S. pledge will bring the total number of HIMARS to 16.
Germany and Britain have also sent medium-to-long-range rocket systems to Ukraine.
According to U.S. intelligence estimates, Ukraine has used HIMARS to take out more than 100 “high-value” Russian targets.
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