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Russian media: American man missing in occupied Donetsk Oblast

by Abbey Fenbert April 13, 2024 5:56 AM 1 min read
Smoke rising near the town of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk Oblast, on April 11, 2024. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russell Bentley, a pro-Kremlin American man who fought against Ukraine in 2014, has gone missing in Russian-occupied Donetsk Oblast, the Russian Telegram channel Mash reported on April 12, citing local police.

Bentley, age 64, is a U.S. military veteran and self-identified supporter of Russian occupation forces in Ukraine.

Police claimed Bentley went missing on April 8, after a district in occupied Donetsk Oblast was shelled by Ukrainian troops. His wife reportedly told Mash that he went to see if other residents needed help after the strikes and never returned.

Bentley's wife said she found his car, which contained her husband's baseball cap, a pair of glasses, and a smashed mobile phone.

Bentley took up arms with Russian forces in eastern Ukraine in 2014, fighting against the Ukrainian military during Russia's invasion of Donbas under the call sign "Texas," according to Russian state media.

Bentley then reportedly left the army to produce propaganda videos for Russia's state-owned Sputnik news agency and obtained Russian citizenship.

10 years of war: A timeline of Russia’s decade-long aggression against Ukraine
Almost immediately following the end of the EuroMaidan Revolution in Ukraine in February 2014, Russia swiftly moved to annex and occupy the Crimean Peninsula. Within a couple of months, unrest erupted in eastern Ukraine followed by Russian-backed militias taking over administrative buildings. The…
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