American-Born Russell ‘Texas’ Bentley Reportedly Dead – Pro-Russia Fighter Turned War Correspondent Vanished in Donetsk 11 Days Ago

American-born Sputnik correspondent Russell ‘Texas’ Bentley, died at the age of 64, his wife Lyudmila confirmed to the Russian news site.

Bentley went missing in Donetsk city on April 8, following a Ukrainian artillery attack on the city’s Petrovsky district. Four days later, the DPR Ministry of Internal Affairs put him on a missing persons list.

Bentley has been covering Russia’s special military operation zone as a war correspondent.

‘Texas’ joined the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) militia as a fighter in 2014, resisting the Ukrainian forces and Nazi Azov militants, having later become a war correspondent.

Read: A Texan in Donetsk: Russell Bentley Explains the Huge Relevance of the Russian Siege of Avdiivka – ‘Once It Falls the Donbas Front Will Shatter Like Glass’

While Russian sources (and authorities) have yet to confirm the cause of his reported death, he is feared to have been the latest journalist targeted for retaliation by Kiev’s services, like Daria Dugina, killed in a car bomb, Vladlem Tatarsky, killed with a ‘gift bomb’, or the American Gonzalo Lira, who died in a Ukrainian cell after reportedly being denied medical attention.

After retiring from military service in Donbas, Bentleу turned to humanitarian aid work and journalism. He converted to Russian Orthodox Christianity and, in 2021, received Russian citizenship.

Bentley began contributing to Sputnik International in October 2023, publishing numerous video reports and columns that provided Westerners with an inside look at life in the Donbas.

Eleven days ago, he disappeared in mysterious circumstances in Donetsk city.

Mash in Donbas reported (translated from the Russian):

“The police are looking for an American who disappeared after shelling in the Petrovsky district of Donetsk.

On Monday, Russell Bentley and his wife came to the executive committee to re-register documents. While we were standing in line, we saw a huge column of smoke after the arrival. Russell rushed to help the locals and soon stopped communicating. According to the wife, at that moment she became worried and went to the place herself.

‘There I found only my husband’s car, in which were his baseball cap, glasses and a broken phone. The investigator has already opened a missing person case – they are looking for Bentley. If you saw him or know anything, be sure to notify the police’.”

Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Sputnik’s parent media group Rossiya Segodnya – and herself targeted by Ukrainian services – expressed her condolences:

“Russell Bentley, also known as Texas, a real American from Texas, died in Donetsk. He fought there for our people. Collaborated with our Sputnik. Terrible. R.I.P….”

Read more:

Siege of Avdiivka: Russian Forces Cut All the Supply and Reinforcement Routes for the Ukrainians, in a Move to Encircle the City

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