Identical sources have identified the American citizen who was killed in Bakhmut, Ukraine, this week, revealing that it is related to Nicholas Maimer, a former soldier in the US Army Special Forces.
And CNN reported that the retired American soldier was killed in a Russian artillery bombardment of the besieged city of Bakhmut, as confirmed by a close friend of the late and founder of a non-profit group operating in Ukraine.
Nicholas Maimer served more than 20 years in military uniform before retiring in 2018, according to his service record seen by CNN.
The Idaho Statesman newspaper reported on Tuesday that Meimer was a former Army Special Forces soldier who joined Ukraine last year to train civilian volunteers.
Retired Lt. Col. Perry Blackburn told the network that Maimer was hit by artillery fire while he was in a building in the city of Bakhmut, which has been known for months as fierce battles between Ukrainian and Russian forces.
Blackburn, a volunteer in the Ukrainian forces, added that “the targeted building collapsed, while the Ukrainian soldiers who were with Maymer believed that he was either trapped in the collapsed building or killed by Russian artillery fire.”
For his part, a friend of Maymer said, “The artillery strikes were pouring heavily and the building began to collapse,” adding: “Most of the Americans and Ukrainians who were there managed to escape, but unfortunately, Nick was not able to.”
On Tuesday, a video clip of the commander of the Wagner Military Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was circulated on the Telegram platform, inspecting a corpse and showing what he claimed were identity documents for an American citizen killed in the battles.
Prigozhin added, “He died fighting so we will hand him over to the United States, we will put him in a coffin, and cover him with the American flag respectfully because he did not die in his bed like a grandfather but he died in the war and most likely, it was a well deserved death.”
Maimer’s family did not respond to a CNN request for comment, though his uncle Paul confirmed to the Idaho Statesman that the body in the video was Nicholas’.
Bakhmut is witnessing one of the bloodiest battles of the war, as Wagner’s mercenaries led a months-long campaign to seize the strategically important city in eastern Ukraine.
Over the past week, Ukrainian forces have made their most significant gains in and around Bakhmut, after defeating a brigade of Russian regulars.