Pro-Russian U.S. Volunteer Missing After Ukrainian Strike in Donetsk, Ukraine

At approximately 0350 EST, initial reports indicated that U.S. foreign volunteer Russell Bentley was missing in Donetsk, Ukraine. The Self-Declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Interior Ministry announced it is looking for information from the public on the whereabouts of the high-profile U.S. citizen.

Shelling in Donetsk

According to Readovkanews, Russel travelled to an executive committee building of the Petrovsky district of Donetsk after Ukrainian shelling struck the area on April 8th. His experience as a U.S. Army soldier, medic, and fighter in the DPR Militia motivated him to help look for survivors and render aid. While on the building, a second round of shelling struck, now his white Niva has been reported missing from the parking lot and the man has gone missing. Their report reads below:

“He was last seen in the Petrovsky district during the shelling on April 8. Russell, along with his wife Lyudmila, arrived at the executive committee of the Petrovsky district of Donetsk on business when another shelling began. Russell allegedly went to see if the wounded needed help, and since then no one has seen him or his white Niva parked near the car depot. The DPR police have announced a search for the missing man, the Russian Hour media company is also looking for the man, which recently made a film about him, and also announced a reward for information about Russell.”

Bentley Goes to Ukraine in 2014

Bentley moved to Ukraine in 2014 after the Russian annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the Donbass War. His self-stated motivation is to rid Ukraine of Nazis and fascists which are suppressing Russian speakers in the Eastern part of the country. During the peak of the Donbass war fighting, he served in the Donetsk People’s Militia, specifically in the Vostok Battalion and XAH Spetsnaz Battalion through 2017. Bentley is a self-declared Communist and hardcore Leftist. He was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church in 2016 and keeps a Russian wife, Lyudmila. He is a native of the state of Texas, thus earning his callsign “Texas”.

However, he did not gain international notoriety until about 2022 when Bentley began crowdsourcing funding for his activities and to support Russian units in the invasion of Ukraine. It is not currently clear if he is actively involved in fighting but has been spotted in the “front-line” armed with a pistol and a rifle. However, he has also described himself in a journalistic role for the current fighting. Western media did not pick up on his presence in Ukraine until acute interest in the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.


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