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A 52-year-old American named Stephen Zabielski has been killed in Ukraine after he joined forces in a small southern village to engage Russians.
The U.S. State Department warns U.S. citizens against traveling to Ukraine or participating in the conflict.
In a statement, the State Department said, “We can confirm the death of U.S. citizen Stephen Zabielski in Ukraine.”
“We have been in touch with the family and have provided all possible consular assistance. Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have nothing further,” the statement added.
Zabielski was killed on May 15 in the southern region of the country.
The exact circumstances of his death and the location of his body is unknown.
Ukraine claims there are roughly 16,000 alleged war crimes by Russian troops since the invasion. Investigations into these alleged crimes are still underway.
Several countries have also launched investigations into alleged Russian crimes.
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The State Department also took the opportunity to reiterate its opposition to U.S. citizens traveling to Ukraine or participating in the conflict.
The spokesperson added, “We once again reiterate U.S. citizens should not travel to Ukraine due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of U.S. citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials, and that U.S. citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland is making a surprise visit to Ukraine to throw America’s weight behind ongoing war crimes trials against the Russian military, the Justice Department revealed Tuesday.
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“Attorney General Merrick Garland is making an unannounced visit to Ukraine today, where he will meet with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to discuss U.S. and international efforts to help Ukraine identify, apprehend, and prosecute those individuals involved in war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine,” the official said.