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Nov 14, 2023
Opaskwayak Chief Maureen Brown says family was notified Monday
A northern Manitoba man, known for his caring and compassionate nature, has died after going to fight alongside the Ukrainian army, his family said Tuesday.
Austin Lathlin-Bercier, 25, from Opaskwayak Cree Nation, ventured into battle in Ukraine against invading Russian forces soon after the war broke out last year. His family was told of his death this week.
“All we know is we got the call [Monday] that he was missing for two days. Later that day we got the call they found his body, but they can’t extract it right now due to the ongoing battle in that area,” his sister Faith Lathlin-Bercier wrote in an email.
“They don’t know how long it could take to extract him. It could take days to months. We’re waiting to get him home.”
The Ukrainian Embassy in Ottawa said Austin Lathlin-Bercier was declared missing earlier this month.
“On Nov. 11, 2023, Canadian citizen Lathlin-Bercier Austin Isidore … who served in the military unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, was reported missing in action in the vicinity of Avdiivka, Donetsk region,” said an email from the embassy.