A drone attack in Ukraine late last month left two U.S. military veterans dead, the State Department confirmed on Friday.
Army officer Andrew Irvin Webber and former Marine Corps machine gunner Lance Lawrence were killed during an operation in eastern Ukraine, Stars and Stripes reported.
It is unclear exactly how many Americans have been killed in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“Since it is coming out in public. It’s time to dispell some myths. Lance Lawrence was killed during fighting recently on our last operation. He was providing cover fire under heavy enemy fire for fellow Chosen Company soldiers when he was wounded. Lance was our brother,” tweeted Ryan O’Leary, an American who said he is fighting with Ukrainian ground forces.
According to Stars and Stripes, Webber was working as a corporate attorney after leaving the military when he decided to drop everything and fight in Ukraine.
“He was a veteran education mentor, a relentless patriot and a defender of freedom who valued justice and liberty for others just as much as his own life,” wrote Kristen Edwards, the organizer of an online fundraiser for fallen service member’s family.
Russian President Vladimir Putin referenced his country’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine as a “war” for the first time earlier this year. The comments from the Russian president come days after President Joe Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Our goal is not to spin the flywheel of military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war,” Putin said, according to The New York Post. “We will strive for an end to this, and the sooner the better, of course.”
Putin’s critics in Russia were alarmed by his use of the word “war” due to a recent law barring Russian citizens from calling the “special military operation” in Ukraine a “war.” Doing so could lead to fines and jail time.
This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.