KYIV, Ukraine (Transatlantic Today) – Two US veterans who volunteered to take part in the anti-Russian operation, their families have reported them missing in Ukraine.
Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh and Alex Drueke, both of Alabama, have not been heard from last week, according to their relatives, who are concerned about what may have happened to them.
Alex Drueke, 39, is a former United States army soldier from Tuscaloosa who did two deployments in Iraq, according to his family.
Lois Drueke said she received a phone call from one of her son’s friends on Monday, informing her that an operation had gone wrong and that 2 men, including her son, had not returned.
She said that her son was not in Ukraine to battle, but rather to provide assistance as a “civilian with army training,” and that she had no idea why he had been included in the operation.
She expressed concern that the pair might be captured, but stated that this had not been confirmed. The Kremlin, along with Moscow’s defense and foreign ministries, were contacted for comment by NBC News.
According to official news agency Ria, foreign office spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated Thursday that Washington has not yet approached the ministry regarding media allegations of “two American mercenaries detained in the suburbs of Kharkiv.”
According to Drueke, the family does not know if Alex was caught, and it’s possible that he and Huynh are still evading the enemies. She is concerned about the likelihood that he is in Russian captivity, but she is aware that the US government and Ukrainians are actively looking for the pair.
Huynh is from Orange County, California, but had just moved to Hartselle, Alabama, where he was ready to get married, according to his fiancée’s brother, Zachary Polk.
John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said on Wednesday that he couldn’t corroborate allegations of the 2 missing Americans. He repeated that the United States opposes Americans from fighting in Ukraine.
U.S. authorities are in contact with Ukrainian officials, according to a State Department representative, who declined to elaborate further due to privacy concerns.
Early in the war, Ukraine put out a call for experienced combatants from all across the world to enlist and join its foreign legion.
Pro-Moscow separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine sentenced to death a Moroccan and 2 British nationals whom Russian authorities have branded “mercenaries.”