The Russian military has captured two US mercenaries who were fighting in the ranks of Kiev forces near Ukraine’s Kharkiv city, The Telegraph reported on June 15.
The British outlet identified the two mercenaries as Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27. Drueke served in the US Army in Iraq whereas Huynh, a former Marine, has never been in active combat before.
An unnamed comrade of the two mercenaries told the Telegraph that they were a part of a ten-man unit that engaged in a fierce battle with a large Russian force in a town near Kharkiv on June 9. Both men went missing after the battle. Reconnaissance efforts showed no trace of the two men and the assumption that they fell into captivate was confirmed on the same day when Russian news channels on Telegram reported the capture of “two Americans” near Kharkiv.
The State Department and the Pentagon have not yet commented on the capture and neither has the Russian Ministry of Defense.
If confirmed, Drueke and Huynh will be the first US mercenaries to be captured by the Russian military. Kiev recruited thousands of mercenaries, including many from the US, in the early days of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.
In the recent weeks, Kiev forces pushed a large bloc of foreign mercenaries into the hottest frontlines in Kharkiv and the Donbass region in a bid to support its collapsing forces. Many of these mercenaries have been already killed, including at least one former British soldier.
Russia and its allies have already warned that they will not treat foreign mercenaries as prisoners of war. As a part of this policy, British mercenaries Shaun Pinner and Aidan Aslin were sentenced to death by firing squad in the Donetsk People’s Republic earlier this month. The two mercenaries were captured in Mariupol city in April. Drueke and Huynh could face a similar sentence, if they are indeed in Russian captivity.
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