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War in Ukraine: Putin’s American prisoners – PatrisNews

“Mom, I want to let you know I’m alive and I hope to be home as soon as I can,” said Alexander Drucky, 39, of Alabama.

He is dressed in military clothes and sitting in an office almost 10 thousand kilometers away from his home. “I love Diesel on my behalf,” adds the American war veteran in Iraq with a quick wink. “I love you”…

Diesel – say his relatives back in the US – is his dog. Winking is a slogan that is good, that Alexander had agreed with his mother before leaving as a volunteer for Ukraine.

The Russians holding him, however, have a different opinion. Alexander, they say, is a mercenary who fought on the side of the Ukrainians and as such will be tried.

The video was shown a few days ago on the channel of the Russian network Russia Today on the Telegram platform. It was not the only one.

There was a second one with 27-year-old Andy Tai No No Huen, a former American-American Marine of Vietnamese descent, also an Alabama resident. He was arrested along with Alexander by Russian forces, also as a mercenary.

“Now I think it’s Western propaganda that Russian forces are killing civilians indiscriminately,” he said in his own video, holding on to the camera and holding him.

“When I was arrested,” he adds, “I was treated very humanely.”

“They are not prisoners of war”

The Kremlin now says the two American veterans are not subject to the Geneva Conventions. Therefore they are not considered prisoners of war.

“They have been involved in illegal activities on Ukrainian territory,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peshkov told NBC on Monday.

“They took part in shootings and artillery fire against our military personnel, endangering their lives,” he said.

“They should be held accountable for the crimes they committed,” which “will be the subject of an investigation,” he added. He did not even rule out the possibility of imposing the death penalty. This applies to the self-proclaimed “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Russian-speaking Donbass.

Just a few days ago, a court in Donetsk sentenced two Britons and a Moroccan to death in the first relevant verdict against foreigners, who according to the Russian side are fighting as mercenaries in Ukraine.

An Iraq veteran…

Alexander and Andy – their relatives told US media – did not know each other before leaving Alabama in April. They became friends, they said, on the front lines of the war.

Alexander Drouki, 39, lived with his mother in Taskalusa, in the south-east of the US state.

Until 2014, he served in the US Army, to which he had enlisted in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

He served for 12 years, with two missions to Iraq to his credit. Initially he was a member of the chemical companies. He then went on to escort convoys to Baghdad without getting involved in a battle.

The latter post, Alexander’s mother told the Daily Telegraph, caused him to develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Which then made it difficult for him to find a stable job.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, said Louis Drucky, her son began to think that he had come there to help.

“He is not married, he has no children and he has education and experience. “He felt it was his duty to assist in defending the Republic where it was needed,” he told USA TODAY.

Mother and son discussed it in detail for a month, according to the reports.

In April, Alexander left for Ukraine.

War in Ukraine: Putin’s American prisoners – PatrisNews
Alexander Drouki

.. and a former Marine

At the same time in Hartsel, northern Alabama, 27-year-old Andy Huen drafted his will, said goodbye to his fiancée and left for the Ukrainian front.

Born in California to Vietnamese immigrants, the former U.S. Marine – also with no combat experience – had moved to Alabama to be with his beloved Joy. He also studied robotics.

Shortly before leaving for Ukraine, Andy spoke to the Alabama media about his decision.

“I know it’s not my problem, but I feel I have to do something,” he told the Decatur Daily. “Two weeks after the start of the war, he was eating me inside. I lost my sleep. “All I could think about was the situation in Ukraine.”

He told the local WAAY-TV network that he spent $ 6,000 of his personal honeycomb on the long trip.

“I have made the decision,” he said. “I know there is a chance I will die. I am willing to give my life for what I believe is right “…

“Before he left, he was baptized in the local Presbyterian church, the Trinity Free Presbyterian,” writes the Daily Telegraph. “He told his pastor that he felt ‘a debt from God.'”

Andy Huen

Thriller in the “fog” of war

Alexander and Andy’s relatives have been hearing from them since June 8.

On the 15th of the month, an “OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT” was made on Twitter by the Task Force Baguett, a self-identifying group of American and French ex-servicemen, now active on Ukrainian soil.

She said two Americans fighting in her ranks had been captured a week earlier by the Russians after a battle.

He did not name them, although he referred to them by the nicknames “Bama and Hate”. The information, he noted, was confirmed by the Ukrainian intelligence service. Officially, however, the State Department was still talking about reports that are being investigated.

The next day a photo of the two Americans in the body of a military truck was released, with their hands tied behind their backs.

Two days later, RT videos with messages from Alexander and Andy were released.

A video of their deposits was also circulated on the internet, in an unknown location. At some point, however, the voice of the interrogator is heard saying that they are in Donbas.

The two Americans were reportedly arrested outside Kharkov after splitting from the rest of their group during a battle.

They wandered for hours in a forest, lost their orientation and ended up in a village. There they fell on Russian forces and surrendered.

Bargaining chip or death penalty?

They are the first Americans to be known to have been captured by the Russian side since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24.

In the meantime, the US had announced that the traces of a third American citizen on Ukrainian territory were being ignored. This is the veteran Marine Grady Kerpassi, with a 20-year term in the US Armed Forces.

According to US media, the 49-year-old had served in the war in Iraq and was demobilized only last November. The last time his family heard about him was on April 26.

A spokesman for the family told the Washington Post that he had been assigned to maintain an observatory in the Hersonissos area.

“Members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including volunteers who may be from third countries and who have joined them, should be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions,” said State Department spokesman Den.

These have meanwhile been bypassed by the US at the hells of Guantanamo, where the detainees have been “christened” “enemy fighters” by US authorities.

Now, according to its own interpretation, Russia claims that foreigners fighting on the side of the Ukrainians are mercenaries and are not subject to international legal protection.

Alexander and Andy’s relatives say they are now hoping for a prisoner exchange agreement with Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine.

The Kiev government says it is already trying to do the same for the three foreign death row inmates – both British and Moroccan – in Donetsk. So far, he will not have succeeded…

Analysts point out that with the trial of the two Americans, the Kremlin will probably seek to present their conviction as proof that the US is directly involved in the war.

Russian President Putin, the British Telegraph comments, “may demand significant concessions in exchange for their release.”

Russian media are already prejudicing the verdict and predicting tough negotiations with the US.

Volunteers vs “mercenaries”

To this day, it remains largely unknown how many foreigners are fighting on the side of the Ukrainians – something that, especially for American citizens, the US has publicly discouraged.

In early March, shortly after the Russian invasion, the Kiev government announced that more than 20,000 “volunteers and veterans from 52 countries” had offered to fight in the country.

These, he said, in the ranks of the “special special unit of the International Defense Legion of Ukraine, set up by the GUR of the Ministry of Defense.” Namely the Ukrainian military intelligence service.

These “special forces have already begun to carry out combat missions to counter Russian aggression,” Kyiv has since stressed.

“For those who continue to question that we are fighting for Ukraine, here is a short video of our team,” the Task Force Baguette said in a May 20 post.

However, in a recent announcement, the Russian Ministry of Defense described as “false” the reports about “20,000 foreigners who are” fighting “against the Russian forces”.

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, 6,956 have arrived in Ukraine since the start of the “special military operation” until June 17.

Of those, he said, 1,956 have already been killed, another 1,779 have left and “currently 3,221 mercenaries are still alive.”

He spoke of “mercenaries and military experts from 64 countries”.

Most, according to the Russian list, come from Poland, Canada, the United States, Romania and the United Kingdom.

Without independent confirmation of the data, it includes 4 Greeks. One was “exterminated”, he says, two “left” and one remains on Ukrainian soil.

He also talks about a fighter from Cyprus. Surprisingly, he even ranks it in the list not of European countries, but of Asia, together with Turkey.

Source: in.gr

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