A pair of former U.S. servicemen who volunteered for the Ukraine war effort have reportedly been captured by Russian forces near the city of Kharkiv during an “absolutely crazy” mission.
Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, were allegedly manning a rocket-propelled grenade launcher when Russian tanks rolled up on a 10-man Ukraine army squad last Thursday in the village of Izbytske, 30 miles northeast of Kharkiv, the U.K.’s Telegraph reported Wednesday.
“We are aware of unconfirmed reports of two U.S. citizens captured in Ukraine,” the State Department told The Telegraph.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with Ukrainian authorities. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”
Drueke is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and, his mother said, was suffering from PTSD and struggling to hold a job before volunteering for the Ukrainian war effort.
“The U.S. Embassy have assured me that they are doing everything they can to find him and that they are searching for him alive, not dead,” Lois Drueke told The Telegraph. “I am doing my best not to fall apart; I am going to stay strong. I am very hopeful that they will keep him to exchange for Russian POWs.”