Saskatchewan man killed fighting in Ukraine


HERBERT, Sask. –

The household of a Saskatchewan farmer who served with the Canadian army in Afghanistan says he has been killed fighting in Ukraine.

Joseph Hildebrand, 33, died lately in Ukraine, stated his brother Jake. The household was notified by another folks in his unit.

“He was an excellent man with robust values who stood up for what he believed,” Clayton Hildebrand, his third cousin, stated Tuesday.

Clayton Hildebrand stated household and associates had been informed Joseph Hildebrand was out on a mission across the Ukrainian metropolis of Bakhmut, which has change into a key goal of Russia’s offensive in the japanese Donetsk area.

The metropolis has been below assault for months, however bombardments have lately picked up.

Ukraine’s deputy defence minister stated final week that the Bakhmut space is “the epicentre” of fighting in japanese Ukraine. Local media has stated the 15,000 remaining residents reside below every day shelling and with out water or energy.

Clayton Hildebrand stated his cousin was with 12 different troopers and solely three of them made it again alive.

Marilyne Guevremont, a spokesperson with Global Affairs Canada, stated the division is conscious of the demise of a Canadian citizen in Ukraine however didn’t present additional info. Guevremont stated in an emailed assertion that they’re in contact with native authorities and the household.

Joseph Hildebrand grew up engaged on his household’s farm close to the village of Herbert, west of Regina, his cousin stated. After highschool, Joseph Hildebrand served two excursions in Afghanistan with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Clayton Hildebrand remembers the native faculty college students writing letters of assist to his cousin whereas he was deployed.

When Joseph Hildebrand returned, he labored for the household on their farm properties. He additionally labored on the native salt mine. The cousins usually labored collectively and would carpool.

Clayton Hildebrand opened his cellphone and the primary contact that got here up was his cousin. He turned emotional speaking about how Joseph Hildebrand was liked and revered all through their small neighborhood.

“Every Christmas he and his brother Jake would drive round to all the neighbours right here handing out containers of sweets and Christmas playing cards,” Clayton Hildebrand stated.

Joseph Hildebrand was additionally liked by his longtime accomplice and her daughter, the cousin stated.

The household would not have any ties to Ukraine that Clayton Hildebrand is conscious of, however he stated Joseph Hildebrand at all times needed to do what was proper. He didn’t say when Joseph Hildebrand went to Ukraine.

“He felt compelled to go over there and assist the Ukrainian folks.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Nov. 8, 2022.

— With information from The Associated Press

— By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Saskatoon


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