A 67-year-old American citizen was killed during a shooting in Chernihiv on Thursday, Ukraine according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has yet to confirm the death. However, the victim’s sister has shared details about James Whitney Hill’s passing.
On social media, Cheryl Gordon informed the public of the conditions in Chernihiv, Ukraine when the shooting began.
“My brother Jimmy Hill was killed yesterday in Chernihiv, Ukraine,” Gordon wrote. “He was waiting in a bread line with several other people when they were gunned down by Russian military [snipers]. His body was found in the street by the local police.”
Unlike in the case of Brent Renaud, who passed away in Ukraine while pursuing an independent story, Hill was in the country for medical reasons. The American citizen’s wife, Irina, has multiple sclerosis.
According to Hill’s sister, he and his wife were in Chernihiv because “after two years of searching,” Hill found a doctor who “knew much more about MS than other doctors in the area.”
Hill managed to get his wife to the Ukrainian hospital in January. When the Russian attacks began, he faced the difficult decision to either uproot his wife from receiving the medical services she needed or brave the impending war. Hill valiantly chose the latter.
Hill “was actually trying to get her out of there, but Irina was in poor condition,” Gordon said in a later interview, adding that Irina would have “needed an ambulance to get her out and there was no way to get her out.”
Earlier on Thursday, the US Embassy in Kyiv stated that Russian troops killed a total of 10 individuals in the attack. Russia has since claimed that this was a hoax.
American Was Killed in Ukraine While Trying to Get Food for Family
Apparently, the hospital was low on food, so the American ventured out to a bread line so that he could bring back something for his wife. Gordon hadn’t been able to communicate with her brother too much while he was overseas, but he could at least give updates on social media.
On Sunday, he gave this update: “We are trapped in Chernihiv. They bomb here every night. People discouraged. Food shortages, gas, running water, some electricity..there is a siege here…”
He continued, “We could try a break out tomorrow but Ira’s mom doesnt want to. Each day people are killed trying to escape. But bombs falling here at night. Risk either way…I only have wifi a few hours a day.We have enough food for a few days..”
Just two days before Hill’s passing, he managed to post two final, ominous messages on Facebook, writing, “Intense bombing!still alive. Limited food. Room very cold.”
“Not allowed to take photos. Spies throughout city. Bombing has intensified noway out,” he added.