Two U.S. residents who traveled to Ukraine as volunteer fighters in opposition to Russian forces have been lacking for per week and are feared captured, members of the family mentioned on Wednesday.
Alexander Drueke, 39, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Andy Huynh, 27, of Hartselle, Alabama, had been final involved with their households on June 8 and didn’t return from a mission across the Kharkiv area of japanese Ukraine.
Stories that the 2 males have been taken prisoners of battle by Russia are unconfirmed, the households and a U.S. State Division spokesperson mentioned.
“What we all know formally at this level from the State Division is that Andy and Alex are lacking,” Pleasure Black, Andy’s fiancee, mentioned by cellphone.
“We do not need affirmation for something past that. Clearly the longer the search goes the extra we begin to contemplate different eventualities,” she added.
Russia’s protection ministry didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
If the pair have been captured, they’d be the primary confirmed U.S. residents to have been taken as prisoners of battle within the battle that started on Feb. 24 with Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering an invasion of its neighbor.
White Home nationwide safety spokesperson John Kirby mentioned that if the reviews are true, the USA “will do all the pieces we are able to” to get them again.
Final week, two British residents and a Moroccan had been sentenced to dying by a separatist court docket within the unrecognized Russian-speaking Donetsk Individuals’s Republic after being caught combating for Ukraine.
Lois Drueke, Alexander’s mom, mentioned she had been involved with the U.S. Embassy for Ukraine, situated in Poland, who had been looking for the pair.
Each males had instructed their households on June 8 they’d be going offline for a couple of days, however didn’t present particulars, for concern of their communications being intercepted.
Drueke served two excursions in Iraq, the final as a lead gunner in Baghdad in 2008-09, his mom mentioned. Huynh is a former U.S. marine who left the service in 2018, his fiancee mentioned.
They mentioned the boys didn’t know one another earlier than assembly in Ukraine, however each felt compelled to help the federal government after seeing photos of civilian casualties as Russia retreated from cities outdoors Kyiv in late March.
“When Andy noticed this footage popping out of Ukraine he mentioned he could not sleep, could not eat, was simply consumed by the horror that these harmless civilians had been going by,” mentioned Black.
Russia denies attacking civilians and has accused Western residents of performing as “mercenaries”, saying Western help for Kyiv is dragging out the battle and resulting in extra casualties.
“As a mom in fact I did not need my youngster in hurt’s approach,” Lois Drueke mentioned. “However I knew that it was actually vital to Alex, he needed a goal to his life and he felt that this was good and noble.”
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