President Biden on Friday mourned a former U.S. Marine whose family said he was killed in Ukraine earlier this week while fighting alongside Ukrainian forces against the Russian invasion.   

“It’s very sad. He left a little baby behind,” Biden told reporters on Friday afternoon when asked about the development after a White House event with inspectors general.  

The family of Will Joseph Cancel, a 22-year-old former Marine, told CNN late Thursday that he was killed in Ukraine on Monday while working with a private military contracting firm in the country.

“He wanted to go over because he believed in what Ukraine was fighting for, and he wanted to be a part of it, to contain it there so it didn’t come here, and that maybe our American soldiers wouldn’t have to be involved in it,” Cancel’s mother Rebecca Cabrera said in an interview with CNN.

She said that her son had a wife and a seven-month-old baby.  

White House press secretary Jen Psaki offered condolences to Cancel’s family earlier Friday but also reiterated the administration’s advice that Americans should not travel to Ukraine for any reason.  

The White House has discouraged Americans from traveling to Ukraine due to the deteriorating security situation amid Russia’s bloody invasion, which recently entered its third month. 

Still, thousands of international fighters are estimated to have traveled to Ukraine in order to help the country beat back the Russian onslaught.  

The Biden administration has sent billions in security assistance to Ukraine, but the president has ruled out putting U.S. forces on the ground in Ukraine to fight the Russians.  

Tags Biden Jen Psaki Marine Russia Russian invasion Russian invasion of Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine US Marine War in Ukraine

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