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Ex-Navy SEAL and YouTuber Rhee Keun posts from Ukraine

March 16, 2022 - 14:29 By Lee Si-jin
The image that was uploaded to Rhee Keun’s Instagram account after his arrival in Ukraine on March 7 (Rhee Keun’s Instagram-Yonhap)

Former Navy special warfare officer Rhee Keun, who recently left South Korea to fight as a volunteer soldier in the war in Ukraine, said in an Instagram post that he is alive in Ukraine.

Denying recent rumors about his death after the Russian Defense Ministry’s announcement that around 180 pro-Ukrainian volunteer soldiers on Ukrainian training bases had been killed, Rhee posted “I’m alive” via social media on Tuesday.

“My teammates withdrew safely from Ukraine. I am left alone in the country and still have many things to do,” Rhee said.

The Navy SEAL-turned-YouTuber added that he is busy fighting every day and there will be no news from him until his mission in Ukraine is completed.

Rhee also said that he appreciates the South Korean government and people worrying about him, but that he wishes to do his best to help Ukraine.

Rhee’s Instagram post was deleted within a few minutes.

Rhee, who rose to stardom as one of the trainers in the YouTube military series “Fake Men,” announced his arrival in Ukraine via social media on March 7, saying “ROKSEAL (Rhee Keun’s YouTube channel) immediately prepared for a volunteer mission.”

Following Rhee’s post, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Korean citizens who participate in the war as volunteers may be subject to legal punishment of one year in prison or a maximum fine of 10 million won ($8,060), and will have their passports invalidated.

“Regarding the Ukraine situation, to protect the lives and safety of our citizens, as of Feb. 13, the government has issued a Level 4 travel warning throughout Ukraine and has banned Korean citizens from traveling to (and or visiting) Ukraine,” the ministry said on March 7.

By Lee Si-jin (