Photo: EMRE CAYLAK/AFP/Getty Images
A Former US soldier, who left his military post in 2019, died Thursday while fighting in Ukrainereported friends and officials.
Daniel Swift died from injuries sustained last week while fighting in Dnipro, a city that Russian forces recently attacked with missiles.said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Swift was attached to the ground, sea and air teams of the United States Navy (Navy SEALs), the main special operations force.
The Swift’s death marks the sixth known American casualty on the Ukraine front since the Russian invasion began almost a year ago.
Adam Thiemann, a former US Army ranger who kept in touch with Swift after previously fighting alongside him in the Ukraine, told Rolling Stone that Swift was injured on the night of January 14.
Thiemann said that Russian soldiers fired a rocket-propelled grenade at Swift and two other soldiers.
Although his military colleagues are on the mend, Swift was left in critical condition with severe head trauma. She died Thursday morning of a massive brain injury, Rolling Stone reported.
Swift showed up to fight in Ukraine with no team of her own other than her intelligence and military enthusiasm, Thiemann said.
More than 44 people have been killed after Russia launched missiles on Dnipro this week.
“He only had a uniform… He used duct tape to stick armor plates on his chest and back to point at the target until they gave him a plate carrier,” Thiemann said.
“After our SEAL left for the Ukrainian front, he led contingents in Crimea, Severodonetsk and Svyatohirsk, and continued to lead the team after I left. He was one of the toughest and most tactically competent men I have ever met.”
A US Navy spokesman confirmed that Swift was killed in Ukraine, but said she was not fighting on behalf of her former military branch.
“We cannot speculate as to why the former Navy SEAL was in the Ukraine,” the Navy said.
The State Department also confirmed the death of an American in Ukraine, but did not identify the deceased as Swift.
The former Petty Officer First Class left his post in San Diego, California, in March 2019. Swift joined the force in 2005 and was assigned to a SEAL unit in 2017. He left voluntarily in 2015 but rejoined the following year. and returned to SEAL until his defection.
After he went AWOL, the Navy’s Naval Special Warfare Command stripped him of his decorations.
At least five other Americans are known to have been killed on the front lines in Ukraine. US officials have repeatedly discouraged Americans from fighting in Europe despite sending weapons and military vehicles to Ukraine.
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