American freed from Russia in prisoner swap hurt while fighting in Ukraine, US official says

ByEmily Shapiro ABCNews logo
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Former Marine freed from Russia in 2022 hurt while fighting in Ukraine
A source familiar with the former U.S. Marine's condition said that he is "alert" and "recovering" in a German medical center after being injured in a landmine explosion.

Trevor Reed, the former U.S. Marine who was wrongfully detained in Russia before being released in a prisoner swap, has been injured while fighting in Ukraine, according to a Biden administration official.

Reed "was not engaged in any activities on behalf of the U.S. government," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said during a press briefing.

Patel declined to say when or where Reed was hurt in Ukraine.

The former Marine was injured in a landmine explosion, ABC News has learned.

State Department officials provided assistance to Reed directly after learning he was hurt, ABC News has learned.

With the help of a nongovernmental organization, Reed "has been transported to Germany and he is receiving medical care," Patel said.

A source familiar with Reed's condition said that he is "alert" and "recovering" from his injuries. He is currently being treated at the Landstuhl Medical Center Army, according to sources.

A spokesperson for Reed's family declined to comment.

Reed was arrested in 2019 when he was visiting his Russian girlfriend, a recent law graduate, in Moscow. He was wrongfully detained for nearly three years.

In April 2022, he was freed as part of a prisoner swap between the Biden administration and the Kremlin.

SEE ALSO: 'I fought': Trevor Reed speaks out on how he survived nearly 3 years in a Russian prison

"I wasn't sure if I was ever going to come home." U.S. Marine veteran Trevor Reed spoke with ABC News about his 985 days in a Russian prison.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday that U.S. officials don't believe Reed's decision to fight in Ukraine should impact efforts to free Americans Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich from Russian detention.

Whelan, a businessman and former U.S. Marine, has been in custody in Russia since 2018. Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, has been detained since March.

"This case is completely separate," Jean-Pierre said. "They are not the same and they are treated entirely differently."

Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed those comments during a press availability in Tonga, saying the development "shouldn't have any effect" on efforts to free the two detainees.

"My expectation is that even as we're dealing with all sorts of other challenges in our relationship with Russia, we will and we are determined to bring both Evan and Paul home," he said.

Blinken said Reed's case "underscores why we continue to call on Americans not to travel to Ukraine and to not fight there."

ABC News' Shannon Crawford contributed to this report.