“I have not yet raised this issue with the Russian Federation … (I) have not seen anything from the Russians to indicate that two such people are in their custody,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price, to a question from reporters. Price said the reports about the two men are not unconfirmed, Reuters reports.
Alexander Drueke, 39, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Andy Huynh, 27, of Hartselle, Alabama, left for Ukraine as volunteer fighters against Russian forces. They have been missing for a week and there are fears that they have been captured, their family members said.
The U.S. military says the two men have served in the U.S. military in the past: Huynh for the Marine Corps and Drueke in the Army Reserve, but did not provide any information about his whereabouts.
The US military has repeatedly denied that US troops are deployed in Ukraine and told veterans that there are better ways to help Ukraine than to respond to calls from Kyiv to fight there.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, saying it was engaged in a “special military operation” to disarm and “de-Nazi” its neighbor. Ukraine and its allies say Moscow has launched an unprovoked war of aggression, killing thousands of civilians.
Reports that the two Americans were taken prisoner of war by Russia are unconfirmed, US families and officials said. Earlier, the White House said it was “constantly working to find out more” about the two.
“There is information about another American whose whereabouts are unknown … Our understanding was that this individual traveled to Ukraine to fight,” Price added, noting that the third American has been reported missing in recent weeks.
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