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Physique of Joshua Jones, American killed in Ukraine, returned to Ukrainian custody

Zaporizhzhia area, Ukraine CNN  — 

The physique of an American man killed in August whereas preventing alongside the Ukrainian army has been returned to Ukrainian custody by the Russian army.

A CNN staff witnessed the switch within the Zaporizhzhia area on Wednesday.

The American is 24-year-old Joshua Jones, who was killed in August. The US State Division has knowledgeable Jones’ household in regards to the physique’s return, Jones’ father Jeff Jones informed CNN on Wednesday.

The switch befell simply north of Vasylivka, within the Zaporizhzhia area, between Ukrainian and Russian-controlled Ukraine. The 2 sides had agreed to a two-hour ceasefire in no-man’s land between Russian and Ukrainian-held Ukraine.

A Ukrainian ambulance was on website to move Jones’ physique. The Ukrainians mentioned that they had been in a position to determine the physique by Jones’ tattoos and different figuring out traits. The Russians had additionally despatched images of the physique prematurely.

In a tearful cellphone name Jeff Jones informed CNN: “We obtained him again!”

“I can’t inform you what a burden is lifted off this household,” Jones. “I couldn’t surrender that hope.”

Jones mentioned he obtained a message from the Worldwide Legion on Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m. through the Sign app. He mentioned he missed it. At 7 a.m. he obtained a name from his son’s fiancée with the information.

Somewhat later the US Embassy in Kyiv referred to as him and verified the return.

Jones’ stays had been discovered within the so-called Donetsk Individuals’s Republic (DPR), a Russian-backed, self-declared republic that has ruled a breakaway portion of Ukraine’s Donetsk area since 2014.

DPR officers mentioned in August that Jones’ physique had been transferred to a mortuary within the area, and that they had been prepared to debate a switch of his stays.

Jones turned considered one of a variety of Individuals who’ve been captured or killed in Ukraine because the outbreak of battle in February.

Stephen Zabierslki was killed in Could and Marine Corps veteran Willy Cancel was killed in April. In July, the State Division mentioned two Americans had been killed in Donbas.

Two American veterans, Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh and Alexander John-Robert Drueke, had been captured in June whereas preventing for Ukraine in a battle close to Kharkiv. The pair had been launched final month as a part of a prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine that was brokered by Saudi Arabia.

And CNN has beforehand reported {that a} third American, US Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi, went lacking in motion in June.

Russia is the one nation that considers the DPR unbiased. The worldwide group doesn’t acknowledge the area and its establishments, and considers the territory to be a part of Ukraine. Impartial watchdog teams have lengthy accused the separatists of a dismal human-rights monitor document and ill-treatment of prisoners.

Clarissa Ward, Mick Krever, and Scott McWhinnie reported from Zaporizhzhia; Dave Alsup reported from Atlanta. Amanda Musa, Rob Picheta, Olly Racz, Manveena Suri and Jennifer Hansler contributed reporting.

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