Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has said his forces are still suffering losses


  • The corpse was found by Prigozhin and blogger Simonov in a shelter on the western side of Bakhmut
  • The man was lying motionless on his back with an injury to the right side of his torso
  • Prigozhin claimed he would surrender Maimer's body to authorities

Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of Russia's infamous Wagner private military company (PMC), posted a video showing the corpse of an American volunteer fighter who was killed in the war in Ukraine.

The video, posted on the Wagner Group's Telegram channel Tuesday, showed Prigozhin leading pro-Russian war blogger Alexander Simonov to a shelter located on the western side of the embattled city of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast. During the tour, they come across the body of a man lying motionless on his back with an injury visible on the right side of his torso.

Prigozhin then picked up a U.S.-issued identification document that said the man's name was "Nicholas." His death was later confirmed by The Idaho Statesman, which said "Nicholas" Nick Maimer was a 45-year-old Army Special Forces veteran who spent the past year in Ukraine training civilian volunteers.

Prigozhin later claimed he would give Maimer's body in a coffin to authorities, adding that the American "likely" had a "worthy death" in the war.

"So we will hand him over to the United States of America, we'll put him in a coffin, drape him with the American flag with respect because he did not die in his bed as a grandpa but he died at war and most likely a worthy [death], right?" Prigozhin said, as translated by the New York Post.

A Wagner mercenary who was not caught on camera claimed the 45-year-old died after returning fire while attempting to retreat from his position.

"He was shooting back, he died in battle, so we will hand over his documents tomorrow morning and pack up his body, right?" Prigozhin chimed in.

However, Retired Lt. Col. Perry Blackburn, founder of the non-profit AFGFree, with which Maimer was working in Ukraine, said the soldier was killed by Russian artillery fire that hit the city.

"They got in the position that they were, artillery started coming in heavy and the building started to collapse. That's when most of the Americans and Ukrainians there were able to escape. Unfortunately, Nick was not able to escape," he was quoted as saying by CNN.

Bakhmut has seen some of the bloodiest fighting in the war in Ukraine, with Wagner mercenaries leading a months-long campaign in hopes of taking over control of the city.

Wagner fighters in Bakhmut
A still image taken from video apparently shows Wagner fighters on top of a building in Bakhmut CONCORD PRESS SERVICE/Reuters