Video Released By Russian State Media Shows Two Alabama Vets Taken Prisoner In Ukraine

Recently, a pair of American military veterans hailing from Alabama was captured by a group of pro-Russian forces inside of Ukraine.

Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh, who served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marines respectively, were battling alongside the Ukrainian defense forces when their group “came under heavy fire in the northeastern Kharkiv region” on the 9th of June, as reported by AL.com. The duo made their way through the woods in the wake of being separated from their comrades and were subsequently picked up by a Russian patrol.

“Mom, I just want to let you know that I’m alive and I hope to be back home as soon as I can be,” stated Drueke via a video on Telegram that was posted by RT, a media outlet known to be Russian state-funded. “So, love Diesel for me. Love you,” he stated, seemingly referencing his dog.

As reported by AL.com, Drueke made use of a key phrase and a gesture set in place by his mother and him before a previous tour out to Iraq so that she would know that he was still okay. “Unmistakably under duress, but thank God they’re alive,” stated Alex Drueke’s mother, Bunny Drueke, in a statement to CBS News. “I was just relieved he looks not like he’s been beaten or mistreated. That was really encouraging to me.”

Joy Black, Huynh’s fiancée, stated to CBS, “They missed their rendezvous point and that had been a few days prior. They’ve gone and searched, they didn’t find anything. And later I found out they’d done drone searches and still found nothing no traces.”

A spokesperson for the State Department stated to CNN this past Friday that they “have seen the photos and videos of these two US citizens reportedly captured by Russia’s military forces in Ukraine” and were “closely monitoring the situation.”

“We are in contact with Ukrainian authorities, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and with the families themselves,” stated the spokesperson. “Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment on these cases.”

Russian officials have issued statements that confirm that both Drueke and Huynh were both being held.

“They are soldiers of fortune,” claimed Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to MSNBC, as reported by Reuters. “They were involved in illegal activities on the territory of Ukraine. They were involved in firing at and shelling of our military personnel. They were endangering their lives.”

Peskov did state that neither of the men were part of the Ukrainian military and therefore did not fall under any of the protections mandated by the Geneva Convention, which states that any captured soldiers cannot be subjected to physical mutilation or other inhumane treatment. “And they should be held responsible for those crimes they have committed. Those crimes have to be investigated,” he went on. “The only thing that is clear is that they have committed crimes.”

Earlier this past month, a judge from the pro-Russia Donetsk People’s Republic handed out a sentence of the death penalty against two British citizens and one Moroccan national due to their work as “mercenaries” for Ukraine, as reported by CNN.

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