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Retired U.S. Special Forces member killed by Russian mercenaries in Ukraine

An American killed in a barrage of artillery fire in Ukraine this week is believed to be a retired U.S. Special Forces member. Russia’s Wagner mercenary group highlighted his death in a propaganda video.

Former Green Beret Nicholas Maimer, 45, was identified as the person killed in fighting around Bakhmut, his uncle Paul Maimer and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Perry Blackburn told The Idaho Statesman. 

The identification was made based on a video in which Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin filmed himself standing near a body and rifling through Maimer’s documents in a graphic video posted to the mercenary group’s social media account. 

“We’re just trying to get him home for proper burial,” Paul Maimer told the Statesman “I think he’s deserving to be put to rest in a veterans cemetery. He might not have been fighting for our country, but he was fighting for the right reasons.”

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Maimer was reportedly killed when Russian artillery struck the building where he was stationed. Blackburn, who helped Maimer deploy to Ukraine, says the veteran was there largely in a training capacity.

“From what I understand, he was providing them with firsthand training in that area so that they can continue to do the fight, and he got caught behind enemy lines,” Blackburn told the Statesman. “Having Nick die over there, it’s just brutal.”

He served in the Marines from January 2017 to Jan. 16, 2022, a U.S. official told Fox News. He was stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, before being discharged as a ground electronics transmission systems maintainer and traveling to Ukraine.

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