A U.S. national fighting Russian forces in Ukraine has been killed, multiple U.S. media reported Tuesday, citing confirmation from the State Department.
"We can confirm the death of U.S. citizen Stephen Zabielski in Ukraine," a State Department spokesperson was quoted as saying in a statement.
"We have been in touch with the family and have provided all possible consular assistance," the spokesperson said.
The 52-year-old "died on Sunday, May 15, 2022, while fighting the war in Village of Dorozhniank, Ukraine," read an obituary on June 1 in "The Recorder," a New York-based newspaper.
The news came after the State Department identified a third American as missing in action in Ukraine. The other two U.S. veterans missing in Ukraine, identified as 27-year-old Andy Huynh of Hartselle, Alabama, and 39-year-old Alexander Drueke of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, were confirmed Monday by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to have been detained "by due authorities".
In an interview with U.S. TV network NBC News, Peskov said the two men were "soldiers of fortune" who were "endangering" the lives of Russian soldiers, and that they "should be held responsible for those crimes" pending an investigation "in due course."
The U.S. State Department has been advising Americans not to travel to Ukraine "because of the attendant dangers" posed by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.