Concerns are growing over reports that two Americans, both military veterans, are missing and may have been captured by Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine.
Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, who served in the Marines, and Alexander Drueke, an Iraq War veteran, were volunteering with a unit of foreign fighters in the Ukrainian army when they went missing amid a fierce battle near the Russian border, fellow soldiers told British newspaper The Telegraph.
An Alabama congressman identified Huynh as a 27-year-old from the town of Trinity. Robert Aderholt, a representative from Alabama stated Wednesday in a statement that Huynh was contacted by his office by Huynh’s family after they had last spoken to him June 8th in Kharkiv.
“Huynh, a former U.S. service member, volunteered to go fight with the Ukrainian Army in their current war against Russia,” Aderholt said. As you can see, his family is very worried about him. In an effort to obtain any details, my office has made inquiries with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of State. “
CBS News spoke to Drueke’s mother, Lois, who said she hasn’t received any official confirmation that her son was captured.
The State Department said Wednesday it is “aware of unconfirmed reports of two U.S. citizens captured in Ukraine.”
“We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with Ukrainian authorities. A spokesperson for the State Department said that they could not comment further on this matter due to privacy concerns.
The State Department also warned U.S. citizens not to travel to Ukraine and those who are there to leave immediately lest they become targets of Russian operatives.
The White House said it cannot confirm the reports but said, if true, it will do everything it can to get them home safely.
Last week, a Moroccan and two British prisoners of war appeared in a Russian-backed separatist court, where they were sentenced to death by firing squad for fighting alongside the Ukrainians.
Andy Garcia contributed reporting.
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