Vitalii Merinov, a four-time world kickboxing champion who fought on the front lines in Ukraine, died Friday night from wounds sustained on the battlefield, the mayor of the city of Ivano-Frankivsk said Saturday.
Mayor Ruslan Martsynkiv called Merinov's death "an irreparable loss for the Ivano-Frankivsk community" in a Facebook post. Merinov also had served as a member of the city council executive committee, according to Martsynkiv.
"Vitalii Merinov left for the war on the first day of the full-scale invasion," Martsynkiv said. "He suffered a gunshot shrapnel wound to his leg during one of the battles. Merinov recovered and returned to the front and defended Ukraine until his last breath."
The mayor did not say in which battle Merinov sustained his latest wounds. He is survived by his wife and two-year-old daughter, Martsynkiv added.