An ex-US Navy SEAL, who deserted the military in 2019, was killed in eastern Ukraine while fighting alongside Ukrainian forces, Navy officials told several U.S. news outlets.
Daniel W. Swift, a Navy Special Warfare Operator First Class, died on Jan. 18 after suffering injuries with a unit under attack by Russia, a Navy official told Time.
The Navy refused comment on how or when Swift ended up in Ukraine. “We cannot speculate as to why the former Sailor was in Ukraine,” the Navy said in a statement to CNN.
Swift joined the Navy in 2005 and completed Navy SEAL training in 2006, according to the Navy, CNN reported. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Swift deserted the military on March 11, 2019.
Following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, 2022, thousands of foreigners from several countries have come to Ukraine to fight on Ukraine's side.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on foreign soldiers to join Ukraine’s fight against Russia, creating the International Foreign Legion at the end of February to better recruit and integrate foreign fighters into the Ukrainian military.