Sean Fuller. Video screenshot
In the evening of July 16, Oleksiy Hodzenko, press officer of the Ukrainian battalion, denied the report, confirming that Sean was alive and well… and still serving in the battalion as machine gunner. Sean enlisted with the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 2018.
“At that moment, Sean was visiting the army dentist. He reacted with a smile, showed the news to everyone, and laughed a lot. He’s even asking headquarters to compensate him for his own death,” commented Hodzenko.
At a briefing on July 16, Eduard Basurin, the so-called spokesman for the “DNR” People’s Militia Administration, reported that Sean Fuller, whom they refer to as an American saboteur and an ultra-right activist from Texas, had been killed near Horlivka, Donetks Oblast and that the “DNR” had handed over his body to the Ukrainian side on July 15.
However, the Ukrainian soldier, who was eventually returned to the Ukrainian side, had already been identified as Lieutenant Dmytro Krasnohrud, commander of a reconnaissance platoon of the 35th Marine Infantry Brigade of the Ukrainian Marines.
Sean’s comrades in 503rd Separate Marine Infantry Battalion learned about his “death” while monitoring Russian and ORDLO information resources.
A video was posted on the battalion’s Facebook page, where Sean jokingly answered a question about what he thought of the “DNR” report.
“You can’t kill what’s already dead!”
Sean added that both Texas and Ukraine have great histories. Moreover, independence is very important to him.
The battalion press service notes that the “DNR” propaganda outlets were caught with their pants down (literally “caught taking a crap”):
“Another good one by the moksha occupying forces! [derogatory term for Russians. Mokshas are an ethnic group of the Finno-Ugaric peoples, residing in the Russian Federation, mostly near the Volga and Moksha Rivers-Ed]
They’ve been burying our brother Sean for a whole day! It got to the point where in their wet dreams they actually saw the American lying dead in a Nazi uniform (we’re serious!). Today, we spoke to Sean about this farce. For a “dead man”, he looks great, and wants to ask our commanders for compensation for his own death!”
The Russian propaganda channel Rossiya 1 reported Sean’s death as a sensation, calling him an American saboteur wearing Nazi insignia and carrying an Estonian passport. The passport actually belongs to Mykola Ilin, an Estonian volunteer medic born in Belarus, who was killed by Russian terrorists on July 13.
Video has been disabled on other websites by the owner, Rossiya 1. However, one can see Sean’s photo juxtaposed with Mykhailo Ilin’s passport page.
In conjunction with the OSCE and enemy approval, a Ukrainian evacuation team wearing white helmets with identification marks moved into the battlefield to evacuate the body of a Ukrainian soldier. They were only a few metres from the body when the enemy opened fire. The group withdrew, but Mykola rushed to help the wounded. At that moment, the enemy started firing grenade launchers & machine guns from 3 sides. Mykola was killed, and one soldier was wounded. The OSCE SMM is negotiating with the Russian mercenaries for their evacuation.
Mykola was from Belarus, but emigrated to Estonia were he studied and worked. He moved to Ukraine when the war began; lived in Bila Tserkva, Kyiv Oblast. He served as army medic in the 137th Marine Infantry Battalion of the 35th Separate Marine Infantry Brigade.