Stephen Zabielski: Second American fighting in Ukraine killed, US State Department confirms

Disclaimer: A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While WION takes utmost care to accurately report this developing news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos. 

Stephen Zabielski, a United States citizen was killed while fighting for Ukraine against Russia amid the ongoing war, the US State Department said Tuesday (June 21). Zabielski is the second US citizen to die fighting against Russian forces. 

As per an obituary published in a New York newspaper The Recorder, the 52-year-old Zabielski was killed on May 15 in the village of Dorozhnyanka, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. However, US State Department confirmed the news on Tuesday. 

The department has not revealed the details about Zabielski’s unfortunate death as it said: “Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have nothing further.” 

In a statement, a State Department spokesperson said the agency has been in touch with his family and provided “all possible consular assistance.” 

However, a report by Rolling Stone mentioned that Zabielski, who was a US war veteran-turned-construction worker, died after stepping on a landmine. 

The spokesperson’s statement repeated earlier warnings that US citizens should not travel to Ukraine because of the conflict and the potential for the Russian government to single them out. It added that any citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately. 

Despite the earlier warnings not to take up arms in Ukraine, several Americans have volunteered to fight alongside Ukrainian forces. 

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday confirmed that Americans Andy Huynh, 27, of Hartselle, Alabama, and Alexander Drueke, 39, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, were detained while fighting on the Ukrainian side. 

Peskov said they were mercenaries who endangered the lives of Russian servicemen and should face responsibility for their actions. 

(With inputs from agencies) 


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