February 25, 2024

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The body of Joshua Jones, the American killed in Ukraine, has been returned to Ukrainian custody

The body of Joshua Jones, the American killed in Ukraine, has been returned to Ukrainian custody


Zaporizhzhya region, Ukraine
CNN

The Russian military has returned the body of an American man who was killed in August while fighting alongside the Ukrainian army to Ukraine.

The CNN team witnessed the transfer in the Zaporizhia region on Wednesday.

The American is Joshua Jones, 24 years old killed in August. The US State Department notified Jones’ family of the body’s return, Jones’ father, Jeff Jones, told CNN on Wednesday.

The transfer took place just north of Vasylivka, in the Zaporizhzhia region, between Ukraine-controlled Ukraine and Russia. The two sides agreed to a two-hour ceasefire in the Ukraine-controlled neutral zone between Russia and Ukraine.

A Ukrainian ambulance was at the site to transport Jones’ body. The Ukrainians said they were able to identify the body by Jones’ tattoo and other identifying features. The Russians also sent photos of the corpse in advance.

In a sad phone call, Jeff Jones told CNN, “We brought him back!”

“I can’t tell you what a burden this family has carried,” Jones said. “I couldn’t give up that hope.”

Jones said he received a message from the International Corps on Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m. via Signal. He said he missed it. At seven in the morning, he received a call from his son’s fiancĂ©e with the news.

A little later, the American embassy in Kyiv called him and checked that he had returned.

Jones’ remains were found in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), a Russian-backed and self-proclaimed republic that has governed part of the Donetsk region in Ukraine since 2014.

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DPR officials said in August that Jones’ body had been taken to a morgue in the area, and that they were prepared Discuss the transfer of his remains.

Jones has become one of a number of Americans who have been captured or killed in Ukraine since the outbreak of war in February.

Steven Zapperselki was killed in May and Marine Corps veteran Willie Cancelle was killed in April. The State Department said in July Two American citizens were killed in Donbass.

Two American war veterans, Andy Tay Ngoc Huynh and Alexander John Robert Drwick, were captured in June while fighting for Ukraine in a battle near Kharkiv. was the couple He was released last month as part of a prisoner exchange Between Russia and Ukraine mediated by Saudi Arabia.

CNN had previously reported that a third US soldier, veteran US Marine Grady Corbasi, went missing in action in June.

Russia is the only country that considers the Democratic Republic of the Congo independent. The region and its institutions are not recognized by the international community, and the territory is considered part of Ukraine. Independent monitoring groups have long accused the separatists of a poor human rights record and mistreatment of prisoners.