On Friday, a video was released on Telegram from reporters with RT, a state-run Russian media outlet of two U.S. military veterans who went missing last week while fighting in Ukraine, confirming that the men were taken captive and raising fears about their fate.
Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh, two US military veterans who went missing last week while fighting in Ukraine, are from Alabama.
Drueke, who is originally from Tuscaloosa and spent two Army tours in Iraq, was seen in one video addressed to his mother, Lois.
“Mom, I just wanted to let you know that I’m alive and I hope to be back home as soon as I can, so love Diesel (Drueke’s dog) for me,” Drueke told RT correspondent Corr Kosarev in a video posted to Telegram. “Love you.”
Drueke, a U.S. military veteran Army, and Huynh, who served in the U.S. Marines went missing on June 9 in the northeastern Kharkiv region after their squad came under intense fire.
Citing Drueke, the RT news report stated the Americans became separated from the others and once it was safe they took out into the woods, ending up in a town where they were confronted by a Russian patrol and surrendered.
They were reportedly being detained by separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas by Russian-backed RT, an English-language news outlet.
Three additional foreigners fighting for Ukraine, two Britons and a Moroccan man, were condemned to death by a court controlled by separatists in Donetsk, which is in the Donbas.
The U.S. has claimed that anyone captured should be deemed a prisoner of war and protected by assurances of humane treatment and fair trials. However, the Russian military has asserted that it views foreigners battling with Ukraine as mercenaries and that the Geneva Conventions do not provide them with any protection as soldiers.
Apparently, no such tribunal has taken place. Chief Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov conceded Monday that an investigation into Drueke and Huynh was still underway in an interview with NBC News.
When questioned about the missing Americans prior to the release of the Russian tapes, Biden replied that he had been informed of the matter but did not offer any additional information.
“I don’t know where they are and I want to be clear: Americans should not be going to Ukraine,” Biden said.
Watch it here: Youtube/9 News Australia