World

Canadian citizen killed in Ukraine identified

A Canadian citizen who recently died in Ukraine has been identified as a volunteer fighter, nicknamed the “Beaver”, as part of a special operations group in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Emile-Antoine Roy-Sirois traveled to Ukraine with the goal of helping the country fight against invading Russian forces.

He was with three other foreign fighters, two Americans and one Swede, when they were ambushed by a Russian tank in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine last week. Their unit commander confirmed they were all dead.

A fellow volunteer fighter who claims to have served in Ukraine with Roy-Sirois and three others killed last week posted on Facebook that “they are all heroes who risked their lives for others. God bless all 4 of them and give them eternal peace and happiness. My heart is broken.”

Roy-Sirois left for Ukraine early in the war, telling his mother, Marie-France Sirois, that he had to go, despite her objections.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the news of the death of Emile-Antoine Roy-Sirois in Ukraine,” Ukraine’s Canadian Parliament said in a statement. “Our thoughts and hearts are with the family. We will be forever grateful for your sacrifice, and proud of you, our Quebec hero! “

Global Affairs confirmed the death of a Canadian in Ukraine on Sunday, saying “consular officials are in contact with the family and are providing counseling assistance,” but stopped short of confirming identity.

A family in North Caroline is also mourning. Luke Lucyszyn, another foreign fighter, was one of four people killed by the Russians along with Roy-Sirois.

“He didn’t go there to be a hero. He went there because he wanted to help people,” his mother Kathryn Lucyszn said.

The 31-year-old, a father of two, arrived in Ukraine in early April. His parents tried to dissuade him but he wouldn’t listen.

“He said he couldn’t leave until the rest of the battalion left with him,” his mother said.

“Just a week before he was killed, he kept sending us notes: ‘Mom, we don’t have the right gear… Can you send me a tactical vest? is that Okay?'”

The families of both Roy-Sirois and Lucyszyn are now hoping to bring the bodies of their loved ones back home.

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