A U.S. citizen was killed during the war in Ukraine, a top U.S. official confirmed on March 17.
“I can confirm that an American citizen was killed. I don’t have any more details for you than that,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters during a briefing in Washington.
A State Department spokesperson told news outlets: “We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. Out of respect to the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment.”
Authorities in Chernihiv, a city in northern Ukraine, said earlier Thursday on social media that a U.S. citizen was among the casualties from Russian artillery attacks “on unarmed civilians.”
Cheryl Hill Gordon, a New Mexico resident, posted on Facebook around the same time that her brother Jimmy Hill was killed in Chernihiv.
“He was waiting in a bread line with several other people when they were gunned down by Russian military snippers. His body was found in the street by the local police,” she wrote.
According to KIFI-TV, Hill traveled to Ukraine in December 2021 to receive treatment for multiple sclerosis.
Karin Moseley, a family friend, told the broadcaster that, per U.S. officials, Ukrainian police officers found Hill dead in the street.
KIFI-TV previously reported that Hill was trapped in a hospital in the city, which sits about 90 miles from Kyiv. Hill was with his partner, Irina, a Ukrainian citizen.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 and fighting has continued since.
Blinken told reporters that Russia “continues to attack civilian sites,” including a hospital, preschools, and a boarding school, “as well as people standing outside a building waiting in line for bread.
“Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime. After all the destruction in the past three weeks, I find it difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise,” Blinken said.
President Joe Biden offered this week that Russians are carrying out war crimes and Blinken said he agrees with the assessment.
The Kremlin said Biden’s statements were “absolutely impermissible, unacceptable and unforgivable.”
Biden heads a country “which has for many years bombed people across the world” so he “has no right to make such statements,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.