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The State Department is confirming the death of Stephen Zabielski, an American who was fighting in Ukraine and reportedly killed on May 15 in the southern region of the country.
Zabielski, 52, is the latest American national confirmed dead in Ukraine since the Russian invasion. He was killed in battle while engaging with Russian forces in a small southern village, according to an obituary in The Recorder, his local newspaper.
The State Department has reportedly been in contact with Zabielski’s family to offer assistance, but no further information has been made available to the public. As of yet, the exact circumstances of his death and the location of his body is unknown.
“We can confirm the death of U.S. citizen Stephen Zabielski in Ukraine,” a State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “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 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.
“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.
Ukraine has reportedly opened roughly 16,000 investigations into alleged war crimes by Russian troops since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February. Multiple nations and international organizations have also launched investigations into alleged Russian crimes.