Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, two US citizens who traveled to Ukraine as volunteer fighters against the forces of Russia, They have been missing for a week and it is feared that they have been captured by Russian troops. The last time they were in contact with their family was on June 8, and they did not return from a mission around the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine.
“What we officially know at this time from the State Department is that Andy and Alex are missing,” Joy Black, Andy’s partner, told the media. Black assured that there is no confirmation “of anything beyond that”. “The longer the search goes on, the more we start to consider other scenarios”he added.
For her part, the mother of Drueke, a veteran of the Iraq war, explained on CBS that her son “felt” that Russian President Vladimir Putin had to be stopped, because once the the war “would not be satisfied with Ukraine alone”. Despite not knowing anything about his whereabouts, the mother has assured that she, as an American, is “very proud” of him “for being willing to risk his safety to help democracy around the world.”
The two left Alabama to head for Ukraine, where they enlisted in the Ukrainian Army and were part of what is known as the Foreign Legion, made up of up to 55 different nationalities, although Kyiv refuses to give an exact number of the number of “volunteers” that form it, citing security reasons. If captured, they would be the first confirmed US citizens to have been taken as prisoners of war in the conflict.
Last week, the Supreme Court of the separatist republic of Donetsk sentenced to death two British prisoners -Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin- and a Moroccan -Braguim Saadun-, foreign fighters who fought alongside the Ukrainian army against Russia.
Russia claims that almost 7,000 foreigners from more than 60 countries — mainly from Poland, the United States, Canada and Romania — have joined the Ukrainian forces to participate in the conflict since Putin announced the start of the invasion on February 24.