Details surrounding the “ambush” in Ukraine have been revealed, leading to the identification of the two American soldiers who died during the fierce fighting with Russia on the frontlines.
On July 18, a group of Americans, Canadians, and Swedes were ambushed by a Russian tank in the eastern Donetsk region, killing all of them, including Luke “Skywalker” Lucyszyn and Bryan Young.
Ukrainian commander Ruslan Miroshnichenko, in charge of the foreign fighters’ squad, confirmed the identities of the Americans, Canadian Emile-Antoine Roy-Sirois, and Swedish Edvard Selander Patrignani. According to Miroshnichenko of Politico, the group was killed when a Russian tank opened fire on the special operations force.
The unit was stationed in Hryhorivka, a village located two miles northeast of Siversk, and was attempting to clear a ravine where Russian forces were attempting to cross in order to halt their advance.
“They accomplished their goal. Miroshnichenko said, “But at the end of the mission, Russian tanks ambushed them.”
The group was reportedly preparing a defensive assault on advancing enemy infantry when the attack began, as evidenced by social media posts from other foreign fighters. They refused to separate even after they were both mortally wounded.
Luke got hurt by the first shell that hit him. Edward, Emile, and Bryan, three guys, all tried to help Luke right away by giving him first aid and getting him out of there. Miroshnichenko claimed that a second shell had eliminated all survivors.
The group “came under heavy mortar fire from enemy artillery of caliber 120 mm or more and cluster munitions,” according to a report obtained by Politico.
Everyone who perished was a “brave warrior with a huge heart.”
“My brothers had served many successful missions and proved their bravery countless times,” Corey Heffernan, who claims to have fought alongside the men in Ukraine, wrote in a Facebook post.
As for the circumstances leading up to the deaths, they appear to be confirmed by Heffernan’s post: “Luke had been badly wounded by artillery and was knocked unconscious. The other brothers who were close to Luke’s position didn’t back down when they saw the danger, instead they yelled encouragement to each other and ran forward to save Luke. Heffernan remarked, “Bryan was our best machine gunner, ruthless and fearless.”
Foreign fighter Luke Lucyszyn “always had something comical to add in every situation,” according to a post about him on Instagram by a Swede. We would often out-laugh and out-noise each other as we made fun of celebrities and regional accents through imitation and satire. He was the best of the bunch in terms of using weapons and fighting. He was a real man who looked out for his fellow soldiers. In my mind, he will always be there.
Bryan Young wrote on Facebook, “I often question why I am here,” ten days before his death, as he was getting ready to travel to the east. So, I’ve been doing this since 1988, and I love it. I took an oath to defend the interests of the free world.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that Russia is focusing its invasion of Ukraine primarily on the eastern Donetsk region, which is already occupied by armed forces, but is also paying attention to southern Ukraine.
It has been confirmed by the State Department that two Americans have been killed, but no names have been released.
Connection: a Facebook update Originally posted on Facebook and shared with the world
You can find more information at The Daily Beast.