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Polish MMA fighter killed in Ukraine

Tomasz Walentek, a Polish mixed martial arts fighter, was reported to have been killed in the fight against invading Russian forces in Ukraine.

Walentek, a member of the International Legion for the Defense of Ukraine, was killed in action a few days ago, according to Poland’s MMA organization.

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“It is with great sadness that we received the information about the death of Tomek, who as a Polish volunteer fought in the international defense legion of Ukraine and died there. Tomek took part and won the Second MMA Championships organized in Gliwice,” the organization tweeted.

TVP World claims the MMA fighter was killed by shelling in the Donbas region. Other Polish MMA fighters, such as Lukasz Jurkowski, took to social media to pay their respects.

Walentek was one of roughly 20,000 foreign troops from 52 different countries who have taken up arms in defense of Ukraine by the Ukrainian government’s estimates, according to Newsweek. The International Legion has admitted to taking some casualties, while the Russian Ministry of Defense frequently claims to take out dozens, sometimes hundreds of foreign “mercenaries” in precision strikes.

The U.S. State Department said on Saturday that two U.S. citizens had been killed in fighting in the Donbas region of Ukraine. The agency also stated it has been in communication with Russian and Ukrainian officials regarding Americans who may have been captured in the fighting.

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Russia considers foreign fighters captured in Ukraine to be mercenaries who are therefore not bound by international standards regarding prisoners of war. Russia has previously threatened to use the death penalty against any international fighters captured.

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