A brave American named Christopher James Campbell was buried in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 5th, 2023.
In the spring of 2022, Campbell left his studies, sold his belongings, and moved to Ukraine on a volunteer mission.
His family was unsure of why he made this choice, but according to his platoon sergeant, Nelson Rumsey, Campbell believed he had a unique ability to help.
Despite the danger, Campbell felt a sense of duty to aid those in need.
Campbell was killed on April 7th, 2023, while defending the embattled Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
He is one of at least nine Americans who have lost their lives in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in February 2022.
Although Ukraine struggles to maintain global attention and enrollment in groups like the foreign legion, the country relies heavily on foreign volunteers to train local volunteers and conscripts in NATO standards.
Campbell was instrumental in providing useful information on vehicles, weapons, and tactics, according to Hlib Fishchenko, who helped recruit him.
At his funeral, Campbell’s fiancée, Iva Sanina, spoke about how grateful she was for the families of foreign volunteers who understand the risks their loved ones take on in Ukraine. She also spoke about Campbell’s dreams of buying a farm in the mountains and marrying her after the war.
Campbell had begun to learn Ukrainian and was planning to ask her parents for their blessing in their native language.
Campbell’s mother, Cheri Campbell, stated that although she had concerns about her son going off to war, knowing that he was fulfilled overshadowed her worries.
She watched the funeral via livestream from Florida since the US State Department advises Americans to avoid the country.
Campbell was laid to rest in a Kyiv cemetery according to his wishes. During his eulogy, Father George Kovalenko, a rector of the Open Orthodox University of Saint Sophia, emphasized that the heroism of those who defend life, liberty, and love transcends skin color, nationality, and faith.
Sanina stated that Campbell was brave and stubborn like a Ukrainian and became one himself.
She also acknowledged the foreign fighters aiding Ukraine and preventing genocide, calling them brave sons of Ukraine.