Third American missing in Ukraine is US Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi

Ellie Kaufman, Michael Conte and Jennifer Hansler

A third American whom the State Department has identified as missing in action in Ukraine is a US Marine veteran, Grady Kurpasi, his wife confirmed to CNN.

The last time Heeson Kim and other close friends heard from Kurpasi was between April 23 and 24, George Heath, a family friend of Kurpasi’s told CNN. Kurpasi served in the US Marine Corps for 20 years, retiring in November 2021. He chose to volunteer alongside Ukrainians in Ukraine but initially did not envision himself fighting on the front lines of the war, Heath said.

“For him personally, he has a skill set that he feels he can give back,” he said of Kurpasi. “He wanted to go and help the Ukrainian people. He wasn’t really planning on fighting.”

The State Department said it was aware of reports of a third American who traveled to Ukraine to fight against Russia who has been identified “in recent weeks” as missing, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a press briefing on Thursday. Price did not give the name of the third reportedly missing American, but said the State Department was in touch with the family.

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