War in Ukraine | Images of two missing Americans broadcast by Russian public television

(Moscow) A Russian public television channel on Friday broadcast videos on social media of two Americans who had gone into combat as volunteers with the Ukrainian armed forces and had been missing for several days.

Posted at 7:51 am

US President Joe Biden told the press on Friday that he did not know the whereabouts of the two men, Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh, two former US soldiers whose relatives had not heard from them since last week. “Americans shouldn’t go to Ukraine,” he added.

The US State Department has also reported information about the disappearance of a third US citizen “in recent weeks”.

On Friday evening, Russian journalist Roman Kosarev – who works for the Russian public TV channel RT – published a video on Telegram messaging of one of the two Americans speaking on camera.

“Mom, I just want to tell you that I’m alive and I hope to get home as soon as possible,” said Alexander Drueke, dressed in military uniform and apparently sitting in an office.

Photo provided by LOIS DRUEKE, via REUTERS

One of the two missing Americans, Alexander Drueke

“Love Diesel for me, I love you,” he adds, ending his short video with a wink. According to American media, Diesel is his dog’s name.

RT’s official Telegram channel also broadcast a video of Mr Huynh explaining that he and Alexander Drueke were “engaged in a battle with Russian troops” near Kharkiv (eastern Ukraine).

“The Russian forces have taken over our positions. We had to withdraw,” adds Mr Huynh. After hiding for several hours, the two men surrendered to Russian forces, he claims.

The two men were also filmed in other videos broadcast by RT saying in hesitant Russian that they were “against the war”.

The circumstances under which the two former soldiers spoke and who is holding them are unclear at this time.

A State Department spokesman confirmed Saturday that he had seen the photos and videos of the two American citizens “allegedly captured by Russian forces in Ukraine.” “We are monitoring the situation closely,” he told the AFP news agency.

The relatives of the two Americans had reacted in the media this week.

Drueke’s mother Lois told CNN Thursday her son went to Ukraine after talking to her about it for a month. “I want everyone to know. We don’t want one coming back without the other. They were best friends and we want everyone to remember that there isn’t just one person,” she said.

Mr Huynh’s fiancee, Joy Black, says in the same interview that she has not heard from him since 8 June. “He told me that he loves me very much and that he will be unavailable for two, three days. He tried not to upset me,” she said. “I just want to see him alive and well.”

Two Britons and a Moroccan captured in Ukraine, where they were fighting for Kyiv, were sentenced to death on Thursday by the judiciary of the separatist authorities in Donetsk for mercenary activities, Russian press agencies said.

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