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US citizen Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh was born in California on February 17, 1995. He is ethnic Vietnamese. In 2014, he graduated from college in California with a degree in management.
From 2014 to 2018, Andy did active military service under contract with the 1345th US Marine Corps. According to Andy’s claims, he served as a heavy equipment operator, worked on a military pay loader. During his service, he was promoted to US Army corporal; his salary allegedly amounted to $ 1,500. Andy claims that in the last years of service he did not use firearms. However, he also said that he had passed 3-month training courses to use the M24 sniper rifle and M240 machine gun. For a long time, Andy Huynh served at the US Navy base on the island of Okinawa in Japan, where he suffered a barotrauma of his right ear. He also mastered his hand-to-hand combat skills. In 2018, he decided to retire from military service because he was no longer satisfied with the internal service schedule in his unit. After his discharge, Andy lived off his pension and worked as a courier driver.
Since 2014, Andy has been interested in the situation in Ukraine. He said that he saw a lot of pathetic American news about the events on the Maidan. In February-March 2022, being allegedly influenced by the US media, which reported on the criminal actions of Russian soldiers against civilians in Ukraine, he decided to take part in the military conflict on the side of Kiev.
He repeated almost the same claims as his military partner Alexander Drueke, another US citizen who was captured together with Andy, did. At the same time, their explanations seem implausible. In general, Americans are known for having little interest in the international agenda. According to these claims, the professional military men suddenly decided to go far away to fight for the independence of a country where they have never been and which they have nothing to do with only after watching several television stories in February 2022. Moreover, they both demonstrate in every possible way that monetary remuneration from Ukraine was not the main motive for their actions.
It is more likely that Andy, Alexander and other former US Army servicemen were sent to Ukraine by one of the American PMCs as part of a covert contract with the US Department of Defense or the CIA. This version is supported by the fact that they both arrived on the territory of Ukraine already provided with expensive military equipment, in particular sets of body armor, helmets, tactical boots, and first aid kits.
Andy claims that he filled out an e-form on the website of the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States in order to join the military formation of Ukraine called the Foreign Legion. It didn’t take long before he was contacted by an English-speaking man who introduced himself as Tim, official representative of the humanitarian mission from the state of Alabama. Recall that Alexander Drueke, Andy’s partner, is also from Alabama. Tim said that if Andy wants to join the Ukrainian Foreign Legion, he had to arrive in Krakow and contact Alexander, representative of the humanitarian mission that is based in Lithuania. Andy was informed that his enlistment into the Foreign Legion will be covered by a legend of the activities of the humanitarian mission in Eastern Europe.
On March 31, 2022, Andy arrived in Krakow and contacted Alexander who turned out to be a priest of St. Martin’s Church in Krakow. Alexander settled Andy in a hotel nearby, where he stayed for 3-4 days. Probably, he stayed at Royal hotel where the cost of accommodation starts from $ 75 per day. The Order of Malta actively helps the Church of St. Martin in Krakow to work with Ukrainians through the Lutheran World Aid organisation with headquarters in Baltimore, USA. The main partners of this organization are also USAID, UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, OSPREY Foundation, etc.
Andy was further enrolled in a humanitarian convoy group consisting of 9 people. As part of this group, Andy crossed the Ukrainian border and arrived in Lviv. One of the group members told Andy to check in the Premier Hotel and wait for further instructions. The cost of a room in this hotel is about $ 78 per day.
On April 5, Andy was informed that he had to arrive at the Yavorov military training ground near Lviv to join the Foreign Legion. Upon his arrival, Andy found himself in a group of about 30 foreign fighters, including citizens of Great Britain, the USA, France and Poland. Later that day, he was enlisted to the tactical group to undergo combat coordination with 2 other US citizens and 2 French citizens. Andy got the call sign “Hate”. Over the next 3 days, they conducted joint combat training under the guidance of English-speaking instructors from Canada and the United States. They practiced combat interaction, moving on the battlefield, deployment of combat formations, shooting.
Once the foreigners’ military skills were established, they were sent to another base of the Foreign Legion in Rivne, where Andy signed a contract. The mercenaries were offered a payment of 1,500 euros in case of service outside the combat zone and 3,000 euros for service in the combat zone.
At the base in Rivne, Andy struck up a friendship with 3 other US citizens, including Alexander Drueke (call sign “Bama”).
Andy says that after arriving at the military base in Rivne, no one really dealt with them. The mercenaries were given personal weapons, AK-74 assault rifles, 5.45 caliber, and they were left to themselves. For several days, no units were formed and no commander was appointed. That’s why Andy and his friends decided to break their contracts and leave the base.
For about a month, they moved around the territory of Ukraine in order to find a paramilitary unit worthy in their opinion to participate in hostilities against Russia. Andy confirmed that one of the reasons for the search for a new division was to get “normal funding for their activities.” That is, the Americans were not satisfied with the compensation offered to them by the Ukrainian Foreign Legion.
At the beginning of June 2022, they managed to reach the commander of the unofficial military formation in Ukraine, who said that he was ready to meet the requests of the Americans. It turned out to be a group of 12 foreign mercenaries under the command of an officer with a Russian name, who spoke fluently Ukrainian, Russian, English and French. Probably, he was an active or former member of the French Foreign Legion. The unit called itself Task Force “Baguette”. You may find their accounts on social networks (LINK).
The Americans decided to sign contracts with this unit. On the night of June 6-7, they arrived in Kharkiv, where they were met by 3 men who showed their warrant cards of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). US citizens were taken to a half-constructed civilian building where the group was located.When they arrived, they were met by a German and a French national. The Frenchman introduced himself as the group’s deputy commander. They also met several citizens of the United States and France. At the same time, French citizens said they were acting servicemen of the French Armed Forces or the French Foreign Legion.
On June 7, Andy and other Americans were given their personal weapons, CZ-807 assault automatic rifles with 7 magazines of 30 rounds and three boxes of 20 rounds. In the evening of the same day, Andy was informed that he had been appointed to the position of an anti-tank rocket launcher operator, and Alexander Drueke (“Bama”) was his assistant. Andy was given an RPG-7 grenade launcher and one grenade, and Alexander was given two more grenades. Andy says that during his stay with the Foreign Legion in Rivne, the Ukrainian military taught him how to handle the RPG-7. He fired 2 shots when training. After becoming member of the Baguette group, he was also given the opportunity to train with this weapon.
For those who never made it back from that day, for those who sacrificed their life to hold their position and for those who fought until their last breath, may you rest in peace.
For our brothers who are still out there, you are not alone. pic.twitter.com/EMqTqZOi8A
— Task Force Baguette (@TFBaguette) June 11, 2022
This information is doubtful, since video materials from social networks indicate that the fighters of the Baguette group used RPGs produced by NATO countries, and not Soviet RPG-7s. Most likely Andy used NLAW or another similar NATO anti-tank system.
On June 8, the commander of the unit set the task to move out on a combat mission. The group arrived on dirt roads on 3 cross-country vehicles to a clearing in the forest area. The members of the group were informed that amid the retreat of the AFU units in this area, their task was to cover the retreating Ukrainian forces.
Andy and Alexander took their position. Observing the area, they saw retreating Ukrainian soldiers followed by Russian infantry fighting vehicles. The Americans were ordered to move closer to the dirt road along which the enemy’s military equipment pursued the Ukrainians. After a while, Andy saw the tank tracks protruding from behind the embankment. He fired his grenade launcher. He claims that the target was not hit. Then, changing their positions, the group moved to the place where they left their cars. There they found only one abandoned vehicle out of 3. By this time, the rest of the mercenaries had left the battlefield. Andy’s partner reported that at that moment the car was already being inspected by Russian servicemen. Intense small arms fire and fire from armored vehicles were heard all around.
Andy and Alexander decided to hide their grenade launcher and the remaining grenades and hide in the area and wait for the end of the battle. After the shooting subsided, they went in the direction from where they thought they had arrived. After wandering about 40 kilometers, the Americans came to a settlement where they were captured by Russian servicemen.
In general, the revealed information about the adventures of Andy and Alexander in Ukraine raise a lot of doubts. The prisoners seek to whitewash themselves assuring they were victims of American propaganda who did not have time to cause any damage to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the DPR or the LPR. The available videos demonstrate that the foreign mercenaries were not beaten, tortured or psychological pressured. They are kept in much better conditions than even residents of the DPR convicted of crimes.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- EXCLUSIVE: Appeal Of Alexander Drueke, US Fighter Captured In DPR
- British “Volunteer” Paul Urey Died In Custody In DPR: His Story, Friends And Secrets