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‘Kind-hearted’ Aussie fighting to ‘defend freedom’ in Ukraine is tragically killed in the war-torn nation

  • Australian man Sage O’Donnell, 24, has died fighting in Ukraine
  • It’s understood Mr O’Donnell previously served in the Australian Army
  • His heartbroken mum said he wanted to help the people of Ukraine 

An Australian soldier who fought to defend the ‘freedom of the Ukrainian people’ has died, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Sage O’Donnell, 24, from Victoria, volunteered to fight in the war-torn eastern European nation after Russia’s bloody invasion in February. 

It’s understood Mr O’Donnell previously served in the Australian Army as an artillery observer and a rifleman.

His heartbroken mother said in a statement released by DFAT that her son was a ‘kind-hearted’ young man who wanted to help the people of Ukraine.

Aussie Sage O'Donnell (pictured), 24, has died fighting overseas to 'defend the freedom of the  Ukrainian people'

Aussie Sage O’Donnell (pictured), 24, has died fighting overseas to ‘defend the freedom of the  Ukrainian people’

‘Sage died in action defending the freedom of the Ukrainian people. Sage has always believed in defending country, people and the right for freedom,’ she said.

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‘Sage chose to take action based on his empathy for the Ukrainian people, and the injustice that is taking place.

‘He fell in love with Ukraine and its culture, and was humbled by the kindness and hospitality within his new community.’

Mr O’Donnell’s mother said her son always ‘chose to live his life true to his beliefs and cause’ and ‘passionately upheld his values’. 

She added that his family were ‘devastated by our recent loss of Sage’.

‘Sage was much loved by his friends and family. Sage’s humour, kind heart, values and laughter will be dearly missed,’ she said. 

Mr O'Donnell's mother claimed her son served in the Australian Army and volunteered to fight overseas as he wanted to help the people of Ukraine

Mr O’Donnell’s mother claimed her son served in the Australian Army and volunteered to fight overseas as he wanted to help the people of Ukraine

It’s unknown exactly where or when Mr O’Donnell was killed. 

DFAT has not provided any further details about Mr O’Donnell or the circumstances surrounding his death. 

A Twitter account that provides updates on the war between Ukraine and Russia claims he died in the city of Bakhmut. 

DFAT said they were providing consular assistance to Mr O’Donnell’s family.

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