Former US Marine Trevor Reed, who was imprisoned by Russia for nearly three years before being released in a prisoner swap in April 2022, has been injured while fighting in Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, according to the US State Department.
Reed’s injuries occurred several weeks ago, and he is currently receiving treatment at a US military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.
State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said that Reed was not acting on behalf of the US government and reiterated the warning against Americans traveling to Ukraine and participating in the conflict. “We have been incredibly clear warning American citizens, American nationals, not to travel to Ukraine, let alone participate in fighting,” Patel noted.
The circumstances surrounding Reed’s injuries and the details of his involvement in the fighting remain unclear. However, The Messenger reported that Reed suffered shrapnel wounds from stepping on a landmine.
Reed’s case has drawn attention due to his previous imprisonment in Russia, where he was convicted of fighting with police officers while intoxicated during a visit with his Russian girlfriend in 2019. The US government considered his detention to be wrongful and referred to his trial as a “theatre of the absurd.” He was eventually released in exchange for a Russian pilot imprisoned in the US on drug trafficking charges.
Despite Reed’s situation, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken affirmed the government’s commitment to securing the release of other Americans held in Russia, including Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and businessman Paul Whelan.
Reed’s injuries highlight the risks faced by foreign volunteers engaging in the Ukrainian conflict. The incident also raises concerns about the safety and implications of citizens choosing to participate in the fighting independently.
Reed’s parents, Joey and Paula Reed, declined to comment on the news. However, last summer, Reed filed a petition with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, seeking accountability from the Russian government for his imprisonment, alleging inhumane treatment and abuse during his time in custody.
As the situation unfolds, authorities from both Russia and Ukraine have not yet provided official statements regarding Trevor Reed’s injuries and involvement in the conflict.