News2023.03.10 11:06

First Baltic citizen killed in Ukraine fighting 2023.03.10 11:06

An Estonian volunteer was killed in Donbas on Tuesday, according to the Postimees news website. This marks the first time a Baltic citizen has been publicly announced as killed in battle after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

IIvo Jurak was a former Estonian military officer who fought as part of the Ukrainian International Legion since autumn last year. In 2016, he was reportedly sentenced for divulging state secrets, carrying out private surveillance and the illegal handling of firearms.

The news were confirmed by Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu.

"He is reportedly the first Estonian citizen to die since the start of the full-scale aggression. We will remember him. We stand as a country and as a nation with Ukraine," he wrote on Facebook.

Jurak's friend, who got in touch with Postimees, said nobody knew he had been serving in Ukraine.

“He did not share this information even with friends,” the man said.

Several dozen Lithuanian volunteers are currently serving in Ukraine. At least several have been wounded.

According to Postimees, an Estonian volunteer was also killed in 2020 during the war in Donbas. Nikolai Ilyin was a citizen of the Baltic country, but was born in Belarus.

Read more: Inside Lithuanian Legion in Ukraine: ‘We are invisible’

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