A U.S. citizen was killed in combat in Ukraine last month after becoming one of thousands of foreign fighters to take up arms against Russian forces in the wake of Moscow’s invasion, the State Department said.
The death was first announced in an obituary published in The Recorder, an upstate New York newspaper, with the slain American identified as Stephen Zabielski, 52, of Hernando, Florida. He previously lived in Cranesville, New York, the newspaper reported.
According to the obituary, Zabielski was killed May 15 while fighting in the village of Dorozhniank, Ukraine. He is survived by his wife, five stepchildren, seven siblings and other family members.
The State Department confirmed his death in a statement to NBC News and repeated warnings advising U.S. citizens against traveling to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion. It said that any U.S. citizens still in Ukraine should leave immediately.
Read the full story on NBCNews.com.