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Russell "Texas" Bentley in front of the painting "Donbass" dating from 2016 by Russian painter Aleksandr Novosyolov at the Donetsk Art Museum on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 in Donetsk, Ukraine.Russell Bonner Bentley III intended to devote the afternoon of April 8 to the banal task of picking up some new health insurance documents. The 63-year-old Texan and his wife, Lyudmila, had driven to the shabby, four-story Soviet-era municipal building flanked by spruce trees in the Petrovsky District on the western outskirts of Donetsk, a city in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas that has been a war zone for the past ten years. At the top of the building’s façade hung a black, blue, and red flag and the white double-headed eagle of the Donetsk People’s Republic, an unrecognized breakaway statelet of Ukraine that was formally annexed by Russia in 2022. Bentley had moved to the Donbas from Round Rock, just north of Austin, nine…

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