American among civilians killed in Russian attack in Ukraine
Washington – An American man was killed in a Russian attack on the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, where he was seeking medical treatment for his partner. The death of Jim Hill was reported Thursday by his sister.
“My brother Jimmy Hill was killed yesterday in Chernihiv, Ukraine. He was waiting in a bread line with several other people when they were gunned down” by Russian military forces, his sister, Cheryl Hill Gordon, wrote on Facebook. “His body was found in the street by the local police.”
Ukrainian officials reported that 10 people were killed Wednesday in Chernihiv while standing in the bread line.
Chernihiv police and the U.S. State Department confirmed the death of an American but did not identify him. Hill was at least the second U.S. citizen to be killed in the conflict, after the killing of journalist and filmmaker Brent Renaud last week.
In poignant posts on Facebook in the weeks before his death, Hill described “indiscriminate bombing” in a city under siege and joked about wanting to appear “feeble-minded” if captured by the Russians.
Under a photo of himself he wrote on March 8: “me unshaven for 10 days. I am actually trying to look as old and feeble-minded (not hard) as possible in case they catch me. I am working on my Rainman accent ‘Oh Boy’…”
Hill, a native of Eveleth, Minnesota, who was living in Driggs, Idaho, identified himself as a lecturer at universities in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and Warsaw, Poland. He said he was in Chernihiv with his partner for her to receive medical treatment.
“We are staying on 3rd floor in Hospital. Most patients in basement bomb shelter. But cold down there and no internet,” he wrote on Feb. 26, two days after the invasion began.
Four days later, he said: “Nobody in Chernihiv is safe. Indiscriminate bombing. … Ukrainian forces hold city but are surrounded. It’s a siege here. Nobody in. Nobody out.”
At least 53 people had been brought to morgues over the past 24 hours, killed during heavy Russian air attacks and ground fire in Chernihiv, the local governor, Viacheslav Chaus, told Ukrainian TV on Thursday.