Update (1607 EST): The soldier has been identified as Dominic Abelen who arrived in Ukraine to train soldiers, especially of the Dark Angels of Ukraine, a unit in which another New Zealander is a part of, who identified Abelen.
The New Zealand Ministry of Defense has released confirmation that a Kiwi soldier has been killed fighting in Ukraine, while on leave. The statement reads:
”The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has received reports that a soldier who was on leave has been killed in Ukraine.
The soldier was on a period of leave without pay at the time and was not on active duty with the NZDF.
At this early stage, there is still more information to be gathered in order to understand the circumstances fully.
The New Zealand Army will work closely with the family of the soldier to offer support at this deeply sad time.
The NZDF is currently consolidating information and will look to release further information when possible, and as such will not be able to provide someone for interviews at this time.”
This report lends legitimacy to the Russian claim that there is a significant population of active duty foreign soldiers in Ukraine fighting with their military. One of the most robust claims is that the Scandinavian countries have hundreds of trained soldiers who are unofficially in Ukraine fighting.
This story will be updated when the soldiers identity is released.