US national dies in Ukraine – media
An American national has been reportedly killed in action while fighting for the government of Ukraine. He has been identified by the US media as Timothy Griffin, from New York State.
Griffin’s death was reported on Monday by NBC News, which cited a statement by Ukraine’s International Legion, a force of foreign fighters formed by Kiev to aid its military against Russia.
The US State Department confirmed to CNN the death of an American citizen, but declined to identify the deceased.
According to NBC News, Griffin was killed while fighting in northeast Ukraine’s Kharkov Region. He was the sixth American reported by the US media as killed in the Ukraine conflict.
The legion was formed by President Vladimir Zelensky, and purportedly includes only volunteers who want to help defend Ukraine against Russia. Moscow considers it a vehicle for recruiting and deploying mercenaries, and says NATO members are assisting Kiev in fielding international guns-for-hire.
The exact strength of the unit, which is integrated into the Ukrainian military, remains unclear. Kiev has claimed that over 20,000 people from dozens of countries responded to its call in March. The Russian Defense Ministry assessed in August that Ukraine had less than 2,200 foreign fighters and that the number was dwindling due to casualties and desertion.