Former US Marine Trevor Reed is expected to make a full recovery after being wounded in battle approximately two weeks ago serving alongside Ukrainian forces fighting Russia, a source close to Reed told CNN.
Reed is currently receiving medical care in Germany after being evacuated there by MediCare Hubs Kyiv, a German NGO, and FRIDA Ukraine, an Israeli NGO.
Reed first traveled to Ukraine on November 1 to fight the invading Russian forces, doing so strictly as a volunteer with no affiliation with the US government, the source said.
Reed, who spent nearly three years wrongfully detained in Russia, told friends and family he was motivated to fight by seeing the depths of Russian oppression firsthand as a prisoner, the source said, adding that Reed said he was honored to serve alongside Ukrainian fighters.
After Reed’s unit successfully pushed back against Russian forces and recaptured about 2 km of land near Bahkmut, the source said, Reed was wounded along with others in his unit. As opposed to what US government sources told another media outlet, Reed did not step on a land mine. He was injured by shrapnel which he got in both his legs.
He is “recuperating quickly and hopes to be home soon,” the source said.
The source says that Reed and his family hope the news media can respect their desire for privacy as Reed recovers from his wound. He will tell his story when the time is right, the source tells CNN.
Reed was freed from Russian detention in a high-profile prisoner swap in April 2022.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a news conference Tuesday in Tonga said that Reed’s fighting in Ukraine “shouldn’t have any effect” on ongoing negotiations aimed at freeing two Americans who remain wrongfully detained in Russia: Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich.
“As I’ve noted before, even with countries where we have profound differences, and almost by definition, countries that are arbitrarily detaining or unlawfully detaining Americans are usually countries with which we have profound differences, we manage to find ways to bring Americans home,” Blinken said.
Another US official noted that “of course” they were concerned about the negative implications that Reed’s situation would have on negotiations, but stressed that the two issues are wholly separate.
State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel and another US administration official stressed that Reed “was not engaged in any activities on behalf of the US government.”
“And as I indicated, we have been incredibly clear warning American citizens, American nationals not to travel to Ukraine, let alone participate in fighting,” Patel added.
“Since the beginning of this war, we have warned that US citizens who traveled to Ukraine, especially with the purpose of participating in fighting there, that they face significant risks including the risk of capture or death or physical harm,” he said.