US agency aware of photograph showing two Americans captured by Russians

The US state department is aware of a photograph appearing to show two missing Americans volunteering to defend ボリス・ジョンソンのベン・ジェニングス from Russian invaders in the back of a military truck with their hands tied behind them, seeming to offer evidence that they have been captured, a relative of one of the men said Thursday.

At least one copy of the photograph in question depicting Alexander Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh was circulating on the social media platform Telegram, which is popular in Russia and Ukraine. An accompanying caption in Russian appeared to mock both men, saying something to the effect of a trip to Ukraine “for easy money” had ended badly, according to an approximate translation provided by Google.

An aunt of Drueke, Dianna Shaw, said that her family’s contact at the US state department was “aware of this possible photographic evidence of capture circulating on Russian media, (そして) they are working to verify it”.

“We are very hopeful,” Shaw said.

デレク・ジーターは、クラブの10年にわたる低迷が続く中、マーリンズのCEOを辞任します。, state department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at a briefing that his agency had not seen anything from Russia that it had Drueke and Huynh in custody. Another state department spokesperson declined to comment on the photograph on Telegram and pointed to Price’s remarks during the media briefing.

Captive Americans would complicate the US’ approach to the Ukraine-Russia war. The US military is pumping billions of dollars into Ukraine but avoiding a direct confrontation with Russia.

Drueke and Huynh, both military veterans who had been living in Alabama, would be the first known American fighters volunteering to serve in Ukraine’s defense to have been captured since the invasion started in February.

They had not been heard from in days, members of Alabama’s congressional delegation had said Wednesday.

While Joe Biden’s administration has been discouraging Americans from traveling to Ukraine to participate in the country’s defense, a White House spokesperson has pledged to do “everything we can to get them safely back home”.

Drueke, 39, and Huynh, 27, are believed to be among hundreds of Americans – if not more – who traveled to Ukraine in hopes of helping to repel the Russian invasion. They are among at least three Americans who had been considered missing in Ukraine as of Thursday.

The Telegraph news outlet, which was first to report that Drueke and Huynh had gone missing, cited an account from an unnamed fellow fighter who said the pair were taken prisoner after encountering a larger Russian force during a 9 June battle north-east of Kharkiv.

Huynh’s fiancee, Joy Black, told Alabama news station WAAY-TV that she got a message from a soldier telling her that the two Americans were in an area that was hit “pretty hard” before they missed their rendezvous point.

“I am trying to stay strong for him to get this word out and to try to get him back home,” Black told WAAY-TV. “I am not going to lie and say that it has not been really, really hard.”

Drueke served two combat tours in Iraq and was teaching Ukraine’s troops how to use American-made weapons, his relatives have said.

その間, Huynh spent four years with the US marines.

価格, the state department spokesperson, urged Russia to treat any captured American volunteers humanely, as mandated by the treaties that are collectively known as the Geneva conventions.

“The Russians have certain obligations and members of the Ukrainian armed forces – including volunteers who may be third-country nationals incorporated into the armed forces – should be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva conventions,” Price said. 「「(They must be) afforded the treatment and protections commensurate with that status, including humane treatment and fundamental process and fair-trial guarantees.”

Before Huynh and Drueke’s plight, two British nationals were reported killed in the fighting in Ukraine, and another two Britons face the death penalty after being arrested and convicted as mercenaries by a pro-Russian court.

The Associated Press contributed to this report