Two Americans, a Canadian, and a Swedish citizen were killed this week after a Russian tank opened fire during an hour-long battle along the frontline in the eastern Donetsk region.

The foreign fighters’ commander, Ruslan Miroshnichenko, revealed on Saturday that the two Americans killed were Luke “Skywalker” Lucyszyn, and Bryan Young. He claimed that on July 18, they died along with Canadians Emile-Antoine Roy-Sirois and Edvard Selander Patrignani.

According to Miroshnichenko, the men were members of a special operations unit within the Territorial Defense of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The town of Siversk, located in the eastern Donetsk oblast, was the focus of Russia’s invasion force, and their unit had been stationed close to it.

The foreign combatants were stationed in Hryhorivka, a village two miles northeast of Siversk, in an effort to impede Russia’s progress. Miroshnichenko stated that “the guys were tasked to take their firing positions” and clear a ravine where Russian forces were working to cross a river.

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“They succeeded in doing it,” he said, however, Russian tanks attacked them at the end of the mission. Luke was injured by the initial shell. Edward, Emile, and Bryan, and three males, made a swift effort to assist Luke, administer CPR, and get him out of the situation. Afterwards, the second shell killed them all.

The two Americans’ deaths were confirmed by a representative for the State Department on Friday, but their names were withheld. ““We are in touch with the families and providing all possible consular assistance, a spokesperson said. “Out of respect to the families during this difficult time, we have nothing further to add.”

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The Canadian and Swedish administrations could not be reached for comment immediately.

In the Donbas, Russian troops have utilised airpower, tanks, and heavy artillery to demolish entire cities and villages. Siversk is located 20 miles north of Bakhmut on a major highway used to transport troops and supplies to the front. Capturing those two locations would provide Russia’s forces with a substantial footing and control over nearly 80% of the Donetsk region.

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Russia has sought to annex large areas of Ukrainian land since the beginning of their invasion. According to President Zelensky, Russia now controls up to 20% of Ukrainian land. He has since been calling for more weapons in order to defend his country.

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