Vitalii Merinov, a four-time world kickboxing champion fighting at the front in Ukraine, died of wounds sustained on the battlefield. This was announced by the mayor of the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, where he was originally from.
Merinov had joined the Ukrainian army as a volunteer soon after the Russian army began its invasion; Wounded by shrapnel in the leg during one of the battles, he recovered and returned to the front, the mayor said. It is unclear where he was mortally wounded. Merinov is survived by his wife and two-year-old daughter. According to Kiev, at least 262 Ukrainian athletes have died since the start of the invasion.
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