Pro-Russian U.S. propagandist dies in occupied Donetsk

Russell Bentley
Russell Bentley

Russell Bentley, a U.S. national with Russian citizenship known for fighting alongside Russian proxies in Donbas, has died in occupied Donetsk, Kremlin propagandist Margarita Simonyan announced on April 19.

Bentley’s wife, Lyudmila, previously reported that he was detained by Russian occupiers.

According to BBC’s Russian Service, Bentley, who went by the call sign Texas, was reported by his wife to have been detained by one of the units of the Russian military. Russian Telegram channels said he went missing on April 8 after allegedly having entered an area targeted by Ukrainian artillery and "decided to go see if he could help the wounded."

On April 12, so-called “law enforcement authorities” in Donetsk said they were searching for Bentley, who they claimed "disappeared without a trace."

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Bentley arrived in occupied Donetsk in 2014 and immediately joined Russian proxy forces. He later married a local woman and became a Russian citizen. Texas Monthly previously reported that Bentley had been a military engineer and musician, having served in Germany, and he was convicted in the United States for smuggling and selling drugs. Fleeing justice, he unsuccessfully attempted to run for the U.S. Senate in early 1990s.

Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov reported that the occupiers assaulted and kidnapped Bentley. According to Batusi, he was abducted on April 8 by the soldiers of Russia’s 5th Tank Brigade on suspicion of "spying for NATO countries."

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine