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2 U.S. veterans from Alabama reported missing in Ukraine

Two U.S. veterans from Alabama who were helping in the war against Ukraine in Ukraine have been in the news for days and are missing, members of the state congressional delegation said Wednesday.

Relatives of Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, of Trinity and Alexander Drueke, 39, of Tuscaloosa, have contacted Senate and House offices to seek information on the whereabouts of the men, press aides said.

Deputy Robert Aderholt said Huynh had volunteered to fight Russia with the Ukrainian army. However, relatives have not heard from him since June 8, when he was in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border. Huynh and Drueke were together, an Aderholt assistant said.

“As you can imagine, his loved ones are very concerned about him,” Aderholt said in a statement. “My office has consulted with the United States Department of State and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to obtain as much information as possible.”

Deputy Terri Sewell said Drueke’s mother arrived at her office earlier this week after losing contact with her son.

The U.S. State Department said it was investigating reports that Russian or Russian-backed separatist forces in Ukraine had captured at least two U.S. citizens. If confirmed, they would be the first Americans fighting for Ukraine to be captured since the war began on February 24.

“We are following the situation closely and are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities,” the department said in an email to reporters. He declined to comment further, citing privacy issues.

John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman, said Wednesday that the administration could not confirm reports of missing Americans.

“We will do our best to control this and see what we can learn about it,” he said.

However, he reiterated his warnings against the Americans going to Ukraine.

“Ukraine is not a place for Americans to travel,” he said. “If you feel enthusiastic about helping Ukraine, there are a number of ways that are safer and more effective.”

A court in Donetsk, under the control of separatists, sentenced two Britons and a Moroccan man to death last week. The British and Moroccans were accused of being mercenaries and violently overthrowing the separatist government in the Donetsk region. The Russian military says it considers foreigners fighting with Ukraine to be mercenaries and says they are not protected as fighters under the Geneva Convention.

Huynh’s wife, Joy Black, publicly posted on Facebook that her family was in contact with the Drueke family and government officials, and only confirmed that the two were missing.

“Please keep Andy and Alex and all their loved ones in prayer. We just want you to come home,” he wrote.

Additional report by The Associated Press.

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2 U.S. veterans from Alabama reported missing in Ukraine Source link 2 U.S. veterans from Alabama reported missing in Ukraine

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