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Two Americans who allegedly fought on the side of Ukraine died in the Donbass, a US State Department spokesman said, ABC News reports.

“We can confirm the recent deaths of two US citizens in the Ukrainian Donbass. We are in touch with families and provide all possible consular assistance, — he said, but did not name the dead.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on 24 February. The actions of the Russian authorities were condemned by representatives of 141 out of 193 countries in the UN General Assembly, Kyiv introduced martial law. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the formation of an international defense legion. Later, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the arrival of “foreign mercenaries” in the country; from private military companies (PMCs).

At the end of April, 22-year-old American Willy Joseph Kansel, who worked in a PMC, died in Ukraine, his family reported. He crossed the border with Ukraine on March 12-13 from Poland and participated in hostilities in a battalion with foreigners.

In mid-May, seven more Americans who fought on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine died in the city of Rubizhne, Lugansk region of Ukraine, he said assistant to the head of Chechnya in the power unit of Apta Alaudinov.

On June 9, the Russian military captured two Americans from Alabama, Alexander Dryuke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, near Kharkov, the mother of one of the detainees said, wrote The Guardian. She demanded that the Russian authorities disclose the whereabouts of the men, noted that they were not “mercenaries”, but “volunteers”, and asked to observe humanity towards prisoners of war.

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The Ministry of Defense rejected the idea of ​​recognizing foreigners who fight on the side of Ukraine as prisoners of war. The department explained that they did not have the legal status of a combatant, so at best they would face criminal liability.

On July 8, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Ryabkov said that the United States had requested to recognize the detained Americans as combatants. However, the dialogue did not continue, and the foreigners came under investigation.

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