Israeli who joined Ukraine in fight against pro-Russian rebels found dead
Body of Bar Bonen, 36—who volunteered to fight in the Georgian Legion in Ukraine in struggle against separatists—found in apartment with gunshot wounds to head; police say he committed suicide, but fellow fighters insist he ‘loved life’, while legion commander says facts are ‘not consistent with the investigation’s version.’
Bar Bonen, the 36-year-old volunteer who was found with gunshots to the head, committed suicide, according to the Ukrainian police.
A 9mm handgun was also found by Bonen’s body. However, commander of the forces Bonen joined—the Georgian Legion—cast doubt on the conclusions drawn by the police, insisting that his death could not be attributed to suicide.
“We are extremely sorry about the loss of a friend and a like-minded person,” wrote the legion’s commander, Mamuka Mamulashvili, on his Facebook page.
“We hope that the investigation will be objective because Bar was not the kind of person to kill himself. There are many facts which are not consistent with the investigation’s version, and we hope that the truth will be brought to light,” he added.
Fellow fighters in the legion also said that it is “hard to believe that Bar committed suicide,” adding that “he loved life.”
Bonen fought together with the Ukrainian army against pro-Russian rebels supported by the Kremlin in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine where the civil war broke out in the country and where separatists declared in July 2017 the independence of a new country in Donetsk and Lugansk, which they named Malorossiya.
Police in Ukraine said that it was continuing to investigate the incident and noted that the exact cause of Bonen’s death would be determined according to the results of the probe.
Despite the suspicions surrounding the circumstances of his death, Bonen published on his account shortly beforehand what appeared to be a suicide letter:
“I am a broken soul, and I didn't open it very much to most of you. I can no longer tolerate this internal pain ...," the message began.
"I just want to say goodbye to all the people with whom I had the honor of being familiar and be close in my life ... And to ask forgiveness from those whom I offended or hurt by my actions ... Please remember me as a good man who did a much and mostly good deeds in his life…”
Bonen presented himself on his Facebook account as a military advisor in Ukraine and as a founder of a tourist company in the country.
Other detail on his account included the fact that he served as an officer in the IDF and as a detective in the Israel Police. He also noted that he had worked in the past for cyber companies in Israel and abroad and also held a position in the Ramat Gan Municipality.
Bonen studied military strategy at the Open University, according to his Facebook account.