Second American killed in Ukraine combat: State Department

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The Department of State on Tuesday confirmed a second American citizen has died while fighting in Ukraine.

A State Department official, speaking on background, said U.S. citizen Stephen Zabielski died in Ukraine. The official did not offer any further details.

State Department officials “have been in touch with the family and have provided all possible consular assistance,” the official added.

“We once again reiterate U.S. citizens should not travel to Ukraine due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of U.S. citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials,” the official said. “U.S. citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options.”

Zabielski, 52, of Hernando, Fla., died while fighting in the village of Dorozhniank, according to his obituary in local news outlet The Recorder.

He is formerly of Cranesville, N.Y., and “enjoyed life,” including riding his Harley motorcycle as well as hunting and fishing.

“Steve will be missed by all who knew and loved him,” the obituary reads.

He is survived by his wife, five stepchildren, seven siblings and his extended family.

Zabielski is the second American citizen to die in Ukraine during combat after Willy Joseph Cancel, a 22-year-old former U.S. Marine. Cancel’s family reported in April that a military contracting company sent him to Ukraine.

Other American citizens have also died in Ukraine, including 67-year-old James Whitney Hill in March and an American freelance filmmaker Brent Renaud.

Two additional former U.S. Marines, Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh, were recently captured by Russia after fighting in Ukraine.

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