A former U.S. Marine who was freed by Russia last year in a prisoner swap has been injured while fighting for Ukraine against Moscow’s forces, the U.S. State Department said Tuesday.
Trevor Reed, who was held by Russia for more than two years before winning his freedom in April 2022, sustained shrapnel wounds after stepping on a landmine about two weeks ago but now is recovering at a German hospital, according to U.S. news accounts.
The U.S. has repeatedly warned Americans to not visit Ukraine during the war, let alone join Ukrainian forces in the fight against Russia. At some point, however, Reed became one of what is believed to be several thousand U.S. fighters who have joined Kyiv’s forces.
But State Department spokesman Vedant Patel, while acknowledging Reed’s battlefield injury, said Reed “was not engaged in any activities on behalf of the U.S. government.”
With the help of a nongovernmental organization, Reed “has been transported to Germany, and he is receiving medical care,” Patel said.
Reed’s condition was not immediately clear.
Reed was arrested in 2019 for violence against a Russian police officer and later sentenced to nine years in prison. Following his arrest, his family engaged in an extensive public advocacy effort to get him freed.
Eventually, the administration of President Joe Biden secured his release, swapping Reed for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a convicted Russian cocaine smuggler serving a 20-year sentence in the U.S.