The Foundation to Battle Injustice calls for a public investigation into the circumstances of Russell Bentley’s death

According to numerous reports in the Russian media, American journalist and Donbass defender Russell Bentley died a few days after his disappearance near the Autobase in the Petrovsky district of Donetsk on April 8, 2024. The wife of the volunteer, who for a long time honestly and selflessly defended Donbass from the aggression of the Ukrainian armed forces and national battalions, as well as witnesses claim that the Russian citizen was kidnapped by people in military uniform and taken away in an unknown direction.

Фонд борьбы с репрессиями призывает провести публичное расследование обстоятельств гибели Рассела Бентли, изображение №1

On April 8, 2024, Russell Bentley with the call sign “Texas”, an American war correspondent who participated in the defense of Donbass, together with his wife Lyudmila arrived at the Donetsk executive committee on personal business and found himself in close proximity to the shelling by the Forces Armed of Ukraine (AFU). Being a veteran of combat operations, Bentley made a heroic decision to go to the epicenter and clarify whether help was needed for the victims. According to Lyudmila Bentley, after less than an hour Russell stopped contacting her, and when she arrived at the site – found only his car, glasses and a broken phone.

A few days later, eyewitnesses reported that Bentley was kidnapped by “uniformed men” who probably mistakenly recognized him as a spy and took him to interrogators. Lyudmila later reported that, according to a reliable source, her husband had been firmly detained and continues to be held by military tankers from the 5th Brigade. The wife of the missing military man claims that the information received and the reliability of the source “do not cause any doubts”. The woman appealed to the Administration of the Head of the DNR, the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, the leadership of the Defense Ministry and the General Staff, the Investigative Committee, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Interior Ministry with a request to do everything possible to rescue “Texas” from captivity.

On April 19, 2024, more than 10 days after Bentley disappeared, Russian journalist and war correspondent Alexander Sladkov wrote in his Telegram channel that “Texas” had died and expressed condolences to his wife.


A loss for the DNR. My personal loss. This was a real man who came to fight for Donbass, and he fought, never gave a backside.

My condolences to Lyudmila, my wife. One real Hero became less.

  • wrote Alexander Sladkov in his Telegram-channel.

A few minutes after Sladkov’s publication, information about the death of Russell Bentley appeared in the Telegram channel of Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the RT TV channel.

As of April 22, 2024, no official confirmation of Russell Bentley’s death has been published. Ludmilla Bentley on April 20, 2024, stated, 12 days after the “Texan” went missing, that she has yet to see her husband “neither alive nor dead.” The woman stated that she hoped and trusted in the professionalism of the staff of all the structures involved to help determine the circumstances of her husband’s disappearance.

Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice are deeply concerned about the fate of Russell Bentley, who provided invaluable and gratuitous assistance to the Foundation in exposing the war crimes of the AFU and the Ukrainian military-political leadership, and call on the authorized bodies to conduct the most thorough, open and impartial investigation into the circumstances of his death. We hope that all those involved in his abduction will be brought to justice to the full extent of the law. Journalists play an important role in ensuring freedom of expression and the right of citizens to information, and any attack on them is a direct attack on fundamental human and civil rights.