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More and more information about foreign mercenaries who were captured in the East of Ukraine is shared by the media.
On July 15th, the death of one of the foreign citizens who was imprisoned on the territory of the DPR was announced. It was a British citizen, Paul Urey, born in 1977. He suffered from numerous diseases, including Type 1 Diabetes, as well as severe kidney and lung diseases. Paul Urey suddenly died of cardiac distress.
According to the official representatives of the DPR, Paul was provided with all possible medical care, including insulin. Paul was also given the opportunity to call his relatives and any organizations that he considered appropriate to contact in order to speed up his release or which could provide him with additional expensive special medications.
The South Front Team addressed the official representatives of the DPR with a request to provide information about the fate of other foreign citizens imprisoned in the Republic. We asked for details about conditions of their detention, health status and their legal status.
Today we received a reply by mail that the DPR is ready to provide the requested information on foreign prisoners. The SF team was provided with video recordings and background on several foreign mercenaries who were captured.
Starting today, we are publishing a series of articles about foreign mercenaries in custody in the DPR.
My name is Alexander Drueke. I’m a U.S. citizen from Alabama.
On June 9th, I was captured outside Kharkof. And I’ve been held in captivity since then. During my captivity I’ve been treated very well. I have food and water. I have access to legal help and medical care if needed. But, of course, I would much rather be back home with my family.
So, I’m appealing to the U.S. government to find a way to give me back home. I understand that there have been prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and Russia. And, so, that may be a possible option to get me home. I’m not sure what other options there might be, but if there are any options available, that the U.S. government could make happen or influence happen, then I would greatly appreciate them doing everything that they could to make that happen.
I have been allowed to reach out to officials with the U.S. government during my captivity and I haven’t got any kind of concrete answers on what steps they are taking to secure my release. If any, but I would just again ask that the U.S. government do everything that they can to trying give me released. So, I can go back home and be with my family. Thank you.
Alexander Drueke, born in 1982, is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He has a higher education in management.
Being a US Army reservist, Drueke took part in the Iraq campaign with the 942 transport company. He served directly in the combat zone in Iraq for several years. At the time of the campaign, he held the rank of the US Army sergeant. Further, he has moved up through the military ranks. During his service in Iraq, Drueke was awarded several times by the United States, and also got a special life pension.
Then, until 2022, he allegedly worked as a salesman in various companies in the United States.
In February 2022, being influenced by US anti-Russian propaganda, he decided to take part in military operations in Ukraine on the side of Kiev. Having enough financial capacities, he bought military equipment at his own expense, including a helmet, body armor, tactical boots, etc.
On April 15, 2022, he arrived on the territory of Ukraine. He crossed the border without hindrance, telling the border guards that he was entering Ukraine with the “purpose of helping the Ukrainian people.”
Then Alexander Drueke got in touch with representatives of the so-called Ukrainian Foreign Legion through the Internet. He was informed that he had to arrive at the Yavoriv railway station in the Lviv region, where the notorious military training ground used for the formation and combat coordination of foreign mercenaries is located.
Having arrived in Yavoriv, Drueke signed a contract with the Ukrainian Foreign Legion to serve in its ranks on a fee basis. He was enrolled in a unit which only included foreigners. Most of his colleagues did not have any military experience, which later led to a lack of proper military discipline in the unit.
The training of the unit was entrusted to the fighters themselves. In the training camp, Alexander Drueke struck up a friendship with three other mercenaries from the US.
In a week, he and his friends were disillusioned with the unit’s training system and their command. They believed that the Ukrainian Foreign Legion is a large and professional unit but their aspirations radically diverged from reality. As a result, they broke their contracts and left the Foreign Legion at the end of April 2022.
Through their personal contacts in Ukraine, they found another unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine located in the city of Rivne. They signed new contracts with this unit. They were given personal weapons (AK-74, 5.45 x 39 caliber), which Alexander learned to handle from videos on YouTube.
The service in the second unit allegedly also did not suit Alexander and his two friends. The group of mercenaries tried to find another professional unit where their combat skills could be fully applied.
They did it in a month. At the beginning of June 2022, the mercenaries were invited to a sabotage and reconnaissance group of foreigners, which operated in the Kharkiv direction.
They arrived in Kharkiv on June 8, 2022, where they were met by citizens of Germany and France who were members of the tactical force team “Baguette”.
The Baguette group consisted of about 12 military personnel, of which about half were French citizens, former or active servicemen of the French Foreign Legion or other units of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of France. Except Alexander Drueke and his two friends, there were 3 others US citizens in the group.
On arrival at the location of the group, each of them was given a CZ807 assault rifle, 7 magazines of 30 rounds and a hand grenade. Aleksander’s partner was also given an RPG-7 with one grenade for the launcher, and Alexander was given two more grenades for the RPG-7. Earlier, during their short-term service in the Ukrainian Foreign Legion, they were trained in the handling of these weapons.
On the evening of June 8, 2022, a briefing was held. They were informed that the next day they had to move to a combat position for reconnaissance and mining operations.
On June 9, 2022, the group of 8 foreign soldiers, accompanied by soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, left on a mission. On the spot, Ukrainian servicemen mined the area, and foreigners were tasked to conduct reconnaissance using UAVs. In case of enemy forces detection, they had to ambush them in order to destroy their military equipment.
During the operation, Drueke’s partner detected a Russian tank, which he fired at with his RPG-7.
In response, Russian soldiers opened fire with small arms at the position of the foreign mercenaries. Alexander and his colleague retreated into the forest area, where they hid for a couple of hours until the battle subsided. After that, they decided to dig their RPG-7 and the two remaining grenades. Being armed, they moved to the side where the cars in which they arrived were parked.
However, only one of the three cars remained, and that one was already inspected by the Russian servicemen.
Alexander and his partner tried to leave the battlefield on their own and left in the direction of the location of their group. Having no maps and not knowing the area, they wandered for 6 hours. As a result, they came to a settlement that was under the control of the Russian military, where they were captured.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- British “Volunteer” Paul Urey Died In Custody In DPR: His Story, Friends And Secrets
- Interviews With US, British Fighters Aiden Aslin And Alexander Drueke By John Mark Dougan
- Hundreds Of Foreign Mercenaries And Other Losses Of Ukrainian Forces
- About 2,700 Foreign Mercenaries Now Fighting In Ukraine – Russian MoD