Wagner mercengary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin posed over the dead body of a US Army veteran in Ukraine.
The man has been identified as retired Army Staff Sgt. Nicholas Maimer.
Prigozhin bizarrely said the mercenary group would send the body back to the States covered in an American flag.
Russian oligarch-turned-warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin posed over the dead body of a US Army veteran who died while fighting in Ukraine, according to a video posted on Telegram.
The video appeared to show American documents that identified the fallen soldier as retired Army Staff Sgt. Nicholas Maimer, a native of Idaho. Maimer’s uncle confirmed his identity to the Idaho Statesman.
In the video, Prigozhin oddly said the group will send the body back to the US covered in an American flag as an act of respect.
“So we will hand him over to the United States of America, we’ll put him in a coffin, cover him with the American flag with respect because he did not die in his bed as a grandpa but he died at war and most likely a worthy [death], right?” Prigozhin said in the video, according to a translation by CNN.
Retired Lt. Col. Perry Blackburn, a close friend of Maimer’s and founder of the non-profit AFGFree — a group with which Maimer was working in Ukraine — told CNN that Maimer was in a building in Bakhmut that collapsed after being hit with artillery fire.
He added that Ukrainians who were with Maimer at the time believe he was either trapped under the rubble of the collapsed building or that he was killed by a “barrage” of Russian artillery, CNN reported.
A soldier in the Telegram video posted to the Wagner account alleged that Maimer was shooting back at Russian soldiers when he died.
Prigozhin said, “He was shooting back; he died in the battle, so we will hand over his documents tomorrow morning and pack everything, right?” according to translations by CNN.
In a June 2022 interview with the Idaho Statesman, Maimer said he felt a calling to go and help when the war broke out.
“I think this is one of the most clear-cut unjust invasions in recent history,” Maimer said at the time. “It’s really obvious to everybody that it’s an unjustified invasion. So I felt like my moral compass just pointed me towards it.”
According to one of Maimer’s friends, Maimer was “training Ukrainian soldiers and officers” and had “started to accumulate and organize a massive training manual for the Ukrainian army.”
Read the original article on Business Insider
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