Russia received US request regarding mercenaries captured in Ukraine
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister says Moscow received a signal from Washington about two US mercenaries that were captured in Ukraine.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov confirmed Wednesday that Russia has received a US request regarding American mercenaries that were captured while fighting in Ukraine, noting that the matter is currently being discussed.
Declining to elaborate, Ryabkov indicated that "We do not disclose the content of diplomatic requests and do not comment on them."
"Anyway, we have received a signal from Washington and are discussing it now," he said.
The Russian diplomat noted that further comments on the matter would be "completely out of place" at the moment.
Last week, The Telegraph reported that these are the first two American mercenaries captured in Ukraine by Russian forces. The two captives, according to the newspaper, are former US servicemen, Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27.
Earlier on Wednesday, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov pointed out that the two Americans who were captured in Ukraine are mercenaries, therefore, they are not eligible for protection under the Geneva Conventions.
Peskov said that the two mercenaries' file should be investigated, adding that the two Americans might face capital punishment in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
2 former us servicemen andrew drueke & andy huynh have been captured by russian forces outside of kharkiv— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) June 15, 2022
believed to be the first americans in the ukraine conflict to be taken as pows pic.twitter.com/4TpXDQSNao
Biden: "Americans should not be going to Ukraine"
US President Joe Biden said Friday that he had been briefed on the two Americans who had gone missing in Ukraine, urging Americans not to travel to the war-torn country.
Biden told reporters that he didn't know where the men were, stressing that "Americans should not be going to Ukraine."
The US State Department urged Russia on Thursday to treat any Americans captured while fighting alongside Ukrainian troops as prisoners of war who ought to be treated humanely.
It also stated that a third American, in addition to the two military veterans who were reportedly captured by Russian forces in a pitched battle last week, was believed to be missing in Ukraine.
While CNN reported on the identity of the third missing American as being the US Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi, based on information collected from his wife, US officials did not validate the information.
It is noteworthy that Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform reported on March 6 that about 3,000 US "volunteers" were to arrive in Ukraine, amid Russia's ongoing military operation in the country.
In late May, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu pointed to the presence of more than 6,000 foreign mercenary fighters in Ukraine.