Grady Kurpasi, Ret. Marine Captain, 3rd American Missing in Ukraine

Faye Higbee
grady kurpasi

US Marine Captain Grady Kurpasi, 49, just retired in November of 2021 after 20 years in the Corps. On March 7, 2022, he flew to Ukraine in an effort to help the Ukrainian people. He said he didn’t “plan on fighting,” but somehow he ended up in a unit doing exactly that alongside Ukraine’s soldiers near Kherson. Now he is listed as missing since April 28. The State Department has notified his family.

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“He always led from the front. He always took care of his Marines.”

George Heath, former Kurpasi platoon member (SOFREP)

On June 16, in a press briefing, Ned Price told reporters that the State department had not yet reached out to the Russian Federation on the capture of two, (now three) Americans. Now, on June 22, the US demanded that the Russians abide by the Geneva convenetons for treatement of POWs. Meanwhile Russian Media (RT) released pictures and an interview with Drueke and Huynh that was likely under duress.

… the Russians have certain obligations, and members of the Ukrainian armed forces, including volunteers who may be third-country nationals incorporated into the armed forces, should be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions and afforded the treatment and protections commensurate with that status, including humane treatment and fundamental process and fair trial guarantees. Under the Geneva Convention, POWs are entitled to combatant immunity and cannot be prosecuted for participation in hostilities. Russia’s obligations here are very clear: As a party to the Geneva Convention and the First Additional Protocol, they apply to its detention and treatment of anyone in the armed conflict, regardless of the status that person merits or that Russia purports to recognize of any such individual.

State Department spokesman, Ned Price

Russia announced that those captured were considered “mercenaries” and therefore they didn’t have to abide by the Geneva Conventions. Kurpasi has not been heard from, nor have any photos of him been propagated by Russian media at this time. Three other foreign fighters, two Brits and one Moroccan were sentenced to death by Russian separatists. They have one month to file an appeal.

Captain Kurpasi earned the Good Conduct Medal three times, the National Defense Service Medal, the Purple Heart, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Marine Corps Achievement Medal three times. He was in the process of reapplying for a PhD program when he went to Ukraine.

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Featured screenshot via Twitter

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