A Ukrainian opera singer who left the Paris Opera two years ago to fight Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has reportedly been killed.
The death of Vasyl Slipak was confirmed by Ukraine’s permanent representative to the Council of Europe, Dmytro Kuleba, in a Twitter posting on June 29.
Media in Ukraine cite Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers in the region of Donetsk as saying that Slipak was killed by a sniper on June 29 near the village of Luhansk.
A native of Ukraine's western region of Lviv, Slipak graduated from the Lysenko Music Academy in Lviv in 1997. He was then invited to join the Paris Opera, where he worked for almost 20 years as an opera singer.
In 2014, Slipak returned to his homeland and joined Ukrainian volunteers fighting Russia-backed separatists in the country’s east.