A former US Marine, Cooper “Harris” Andrews, 26, was killed on the outskirts of Bakhmut late last week, according to his mother and colleagues in Ukraine.
Andrews, from Cleveland, Ohio, was hit by a mortar, his mother, Willow Andrews said, likely on April 19 on the so-called “Road of Life” – a rare access road into Bakhmut used by the Ukrainian military to resupply their forces but also evacuate civilians.
Andrew’s body has yet to be recovered, she said, owing to the ongoing fighting around the city, whose outsized symbolic importance has led to intense fighting as Moscow desperately tries to seize it.
Andrews worked for an activist group known as the Resistance Committee, according to their social media statements. They said he was killed assisting the evacuation of civilians from the city. Andrews left Cleveland, Ohio in November and joined the Foreign Legion in Ukraine, a group of foreign fighters helping the Ukrainian military. His contract ended in March, Mrs. Andrews said, and he decided to stay on.
The US Department of State said on Monday it could “confirm the death of a US citizen in Ukraine,” without naming the individual.
“We are in touch with the family and providing all possible consular assistance,” a State Department spokesperson said. “Out of respect for the family’s privacy during this difficult time, we have nothing further to add.”
CNN has reached out to the Ukrainian military for comment but has yet to hear back.