LRussian public television has broadcast several videos on social networks of two Americans who left to fight as volunteers with the Ukrainian army and who were recently missing. US President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday that he did not know where the two men were – two former US servicemen whose relatives had not heard from since last week – adding: “Americans should not go to Ukraine” .
The US State Department has also reported information on the disappearance “in recent weeks” of a third US citizen. On Friday evening, Russian journalist Roman Kosarev – who works with Russian public television channel RT – posted a video of Alexander Drueke speaking to the camera on Telegram messaging.
“Mom, I just want to tell you that I’m alive and I hope to get home as soon as I can,” said Alexander Drueke, in military fatigues and apparently seated in an office. “Love Diesel for me, I love you,” he adds, concluding his brief video with a wink. According to American media, Diesel is the name of his dog.
RT’s official Telegram channel also broadcast a video of Andy Huynh, in which he explains that he and Alexander Drueke were engaged “in a fight with Russian troops” near Kharkiv (eastern Ukraine). “The Russian forces took over our positions. We had to retreat,” adds Andy Huynh. After hiding for several hours, the two men surrendered to Russian forces, he said.
The two men were also filmed in other videos broadcast by RT, where they say they are “against the war”, in hesitant Russian. The circumstances under which the two former servicemen were speaking, and who is holding them, are unclear at this stage.
A State Department spokesperson confirmed on Saturday that he had seen the photos and videos of the two American citizens “who were allegedly captured by Russian military forces in Ukraine”. “We are monitoring the situation closely,” he told Agence France Presse. Two Britons and a Moroccan taken prisoner in Ukraine, where they were fighting for kyiv, were sentenced to death on Thursday for mercenary charges by the justice of the separatist authorities in Donetsk, Russian news agencies announced.
Consult our file: War in Ukraine