Eveleth native killed while waiting in bread line in Ukraine, according to sister
Jimmy Hill was caring for his partner with multiple sclerosis.
DULUTH — An Eveleth native taking care of his partner in a northern Ukrainian hospital was killed in the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.
Jimmy Hill, 67, was killed when Russian troops opened fire on civilians in the city of Chernihiv, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, told CNN . The U.S. State Department confirmed an American had been killed in Ukraine, but did not name the victim.
The Associated Press reported Hill was originally from Eveleth and KSTP-TV reported he graduated from Mahtomedi High School in 1973 . He was most recently living in Driggs, Idaho, but traveled to Chernihiv, Ukraine, in Decemeber with his Ukrainian partner, Irina, for her "life-extending (multiple sclerosis) treatment," Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, reported earlier this month.
His sister, Cheryl Hill Gordon, wrote of his death on her Facebook page Thursday afternoon:
"My brother Jimmy Hill was killed yesterday in Chernihiv, Ukraine. He was waiting in a bread line with several other people when they were gunned down" by Russian military snipers, she wrote. "His body was found in the street by the local police."
Chernihiv is near the border with Belarus, where Russian troops have entered en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, about 90 miles south of Chernihiv.
In the three weeks since Russian troops invaded Ukraine, Jimmy Hill has posted updates about how he and his partner, who he calls Ira, are faring. His last public post was on Tuesday, March 15: "Intense bombing! still alive. Limited food. Room very cold. ira in intensive care." he wrote.
On Sunday, March 13, he said they were trying to come up with a plan to leave the country and help a family with children escape, too. The next day, he said he was considering making a break for it the next day and that food was running low.
"We could try a break out tomorrow but Ira's mom doesnt want to," he wrote the next day. "Each day people are killed trying to escape. But bombs falling here at night. Risk either way...I only have wifi a few hours a day.We have enough food for a few days.."