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Two Americans killed in action in Ukraine are identified

Over the weekend, a Ukrainian commander identified two Americans who were recently killed in the eastern region of Donbass.

Ruslan Miroshnichenko, the Ukrainian commander, identified the Americans in a Facebook post as Luke Lucyszyn and Bryan Young, and said they were killed on July 18 alongside two other foreigners: Emile-Antoine Roy-Sirois of Canada and Edvard Selander Patrignani from Sweden.

The State Department announced the deaths of two Americans on Friday but provided no further information about their identities or the circumstances of their deaths, citing respect for their families.

Mr. Young’s family did not immediately respond to messages and calls on Sunday.

A longtime friend of Mr. Lucyszyn, Corey Mesimer, 29, of Myrtle Beach, SC, confirmed on Sunday that his friend’s family had been notified that Mr. Lucyszyn had been killed in action.

Mr. Lucyszyn, 31, felt a responsibility to travel and fight in Ukraine because his grandmother was born there, and he felt close to her heritage, Mr. Mesimer said.

“It was something he had to do; he was very attached to it,” Mr. Mesimer said by telephone on Sunday. “And even talking to him while he was there, he felt like it was something he should do for the country of Ukraine.”

Mr Mesimer said Mr Lycyszyn, whom he described as the “life of the party”, had lived in Myrtle Beach for two years and the two had played on the same paintball team there, the Carolina Rage.

But he added that Mr Lucyszyn had volunteered without prior military experience, which had worried some friends. After Mr. Lucyszyn arrived in Ukraine in April, he messaged Mr. Mesimer on WhatsApp to register. Mr. Lucyszyn often spoke of how they ran out of supplies and were being hit by heavy artillery, Mr. Mesimer said.

In their last WhatsApp messages of July 8, Mr. Lucyszyn told Mr. Mesimer where the other foreign soldiers were from.

“Damn, they come from everywhere, huh? Mr. Mesimer replied, then asked, “How are you mentally?”

“I’m fine,” replied Mr. Lucyszyn.

“I’m just glad you’re okay, mate,” Mr. Mesimer replied. Then he sent what would be his last message to Mr. Lucyszyn: “Stay safe.

Victoria Kim contributed report.

nytimes Eur

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