June 10, 2023

Two US military veterans who invisible During the war with Russia, the Ukrainian forces were almost liberated Three months in prisonrelatives said Wednesday.

Alex Druck, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, disappeared on June 9 in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine, near the Russian border. Both went to Ukraine themselves and became friends because both are from Alabama.

The families Drook’s aunt, Diana Shaw, announced their release in a joint statement.

“They are safely in the custody of the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia and will return to the Kingdom after a medical check and debriefing,” the statement said.

U.S. military veterans Andy Tay Ngoc Huynh and Alexander Druk left their home in Alabama to work with the Ukrainian military on the battlefield. They were reportedly captured by Russian forces during the war in eastern Ukraine in June 2022.

According to a US embassy official, Shaw said both men had spoken with relatives in the US and were “in quite good condition”.

The Saudi embassy released a statement saying it had mediated the release of 10 prisoners from Morocco, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Croatia. Shaw confirmed that Druck and Huynh were part of the group.

The United Kingdom confirmed that five British nationals had been freed and lawmaker Robert Genrick said one of them was Aiden Aslin, 28, who was sentenced to death after being captured in eastern Ukraine.

“Aiden’s return ends months of agonizing uncertainty for Aiden’s loving family in Newark who suffered daily from Aiden’s fraud trial but never lost hope. Now that they are reunited as a family, they can finally be at peace,” Jenrick tweeted.

American military veterans Alexander Druck, left, and Andy Tay Ngoc Huynh are seen with other foreign fighters in Ukraine.

Druck joined the Army at age 19 after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and believed he could help. Ukrainian fighters Because of his training and weapons experience, Shaw said earlier. Druck considered whether to go for a few weeks, he said, and then made up his mind and left in mid-April.

Huynh moved to north Alabama two years ago from his native California and lives about 120 miles (193 kilometers) from Druck. Before leaving for Europe, Huynh told his local newspaper, The Decatur Daily, that he couldn’t stop thinking about Russian aggression.

“I know it wasn’t my problem, but there was that gut feeling that I felt I had to do something,” Huynh told the paper. “Two weeks after the war started, it was eating me up inside and it just felt wrong. I was losing sleep. … All I could think about was the situation in Ukraine.”

The two men bonded over their home states and stayed together when their unit came under heavy fire. Relatives spoke to Druck on the phone several times while the two were being held.

A member of their squadron told CBS News They were all nearly killed by a Russian vehicle this summer, when Druk and Huynh saved their lives by destroying it with a rocket-propelled grenade.

The Kremlin said it knew nothing about Russian capture of Americans. But during a TV segment, a host can be heard on a Russian state media video Making fun of families A photo of the two is seen in the background.

Druk’s mother previously told “CBS Mornings” that her son “felt very strongly that Putin needed to be stopped, because he said that Putin would not be satisfied with just parts of Ukraine or even all of Ukraine.”

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