Ukrainian journalist says missing U.S. citizen's grave uncovered in Russian-occupied Donbas

16:55, 03 December 2018
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REUTERS

Ukrainian journalist Denys Kazansky has reported that the grave of U.S. citizen William Reilly who went missing on June 24, 2015, after he reportedly went to support the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR"), was uncovered in Russian-controlled Donbas.

"In 2015, American citizen William Paul Reilly went to the territory controlled by the 'DPR' to help the 'militia' and went missing. For several years, nothing has been heard about him, and only now it has become known that a trace of Reilly has been found. It wasn't him but his grave in 'DPR'-controlled territory. There is no information about what exactly happened to him. Either the American was mistakenly taken for a spy and executed, or killed just for the purpose of robbery, since he had several thousand dollars on him. It is only known that he traveled to the 'DPR' through Rostov [in Russia], and last year the Rostov-based website 1rnd.ru reconstructed the timing of his stay in Russia," Kazansky wrote in his blog.

Reilly arrived in Moscow on May 15, 2015, where he was met by Mikhail Polynkov, a well-known associate of former "DPR Defense Minister" Igor Girkin, nom de guerre Strelkov. Polynkov was recruiting and sending mercenaries to Russian-occupied Donbas to fight against the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Read alsoFSB preparing Girkin's return to Donbas – expert

Having met with him, Reilly went to Rostov where he was robbed: $2,000 in cash was stolen along with his bank cards, which were later used for payments and cash withdrawals. Reilly was supposed to leave Rostov for the "DPR," but contact with him was lost on June 24, 2015.

Reilly's parents contacted Mikhail Polynkov to get more information about their son, and he made it clear in lame English that their son had been arrested by Russian special services. He advised to contact the CIA or the FSB.

Another U.S. citizen, who fought on the side of Donbas terrorists, Russell "Texas" Bentley, tried to find out information about his fellow countryman. He dialed a telephone number from Reilly's call detail records which was recorded on June 24, the day when William went missing. Someone named Boria Kalmyk responded. He told Bentley not to ask any questions about Reilly.

The parents sent inquiries to the "DPR" about their son, but got the answer that no one called William Reilly had entered the "republic." Therefore, for a long time, the American was thought to have disappeared in the Russian Federation, namely in the city of Rostov.

"But the Rostov.ru website reported that Reilly had eventually been found. He was killed and buried in the territory of the 'DPR' in the middle of 2015 – shortly after he had disappeared," Kazansky wrote.

But Rostov journalists did not mention the cause of his death. "In the article, the Rostov journalists assume that the American died amid shelling, but this is absolute nonsense. Given that 'DPR' members took him for a spy, he hardly reached the front line. Polynkov wrote that the American had been in the hands of the FSB. Most likely, that structure is involved in his death," Kazansky said.

"This story is epic. The 'anti-fascists' did not appreciate the American idealist's aspirations. This will be a lesson to other naive fools who live in the EU or the United States and support Russian aggression against Ukraine. I hope this incident will get the maximum publicity, and the West will learn how members of the 'DPR' and 'LPR' [the other self-proclaimed republic 'Luhansk People's Republic'] had handled a volunteer from the United States who believed in the 'fight against fascism' and came to take part in it. And if this happened to an American citizen, one can only guess how many locals, Ukrainian citizens disappeared in this gray zone. Some 573 people were listed as missing on 'LPR' territory alone in 2016. Even more people have probably disappeared on 'DPR' territory," the Ukrainian journalist added.

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