Russia-Ukraine War: Willy Joseph Cancel, a 22-year-old American citizen and a veteran, was reportedly killed in Ukraine on Monday while fighting alongside Ukrainian forces, according to Cancel’s relatives.
Cancel was allegedly killed while working for a private military contracting firm. Cancel’s mother, Rebecca Cabrera, said the company had sent him to Ukraine and that he was getting paid while fighting there.
According to CNN, White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday offered condolences to the Cancel’s family.
When asked about Cancel’s death, Psaki responded;
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. ”
“We don’t have official confirmation, even though we’ve read the rumors, but we haven’t had that formal process via the government, so I can’t comment to additional specifics about him beyond that.”
She went on to warn Americans against going to Ukraine to pick up arms.
“We know that Americans are seeking for ways to help, and we know that this man is a veteran,” she explained. “I believe he had a child, and he sounded like a pretty passionate young man.” We know people want to help, but instead of flying to Ukraine to fight, we encourage Americans to find other ways to contribute.”
“This is an active war zone.” And although we are aware that Americans face grave dangers, we are also aware that a family is grieving. “A wife is in mourning, and our hearts go out to them,” she added.
Psaki also reaffirmed the administration’s position that “Americans should not travel to Ukraine for any reason.”
The US State Department confirmed on Friday that it was aware of reports of a US citizen killed in Ukraine, but that it had no other information.