Kremlin Calls for American ‘Lucky Soldiers’ to be Arrested

Main Spokesperson of the Kremlin told NBC News on Monday that the two American soldiers missing in Ukraine, Alex Drueke, 39, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, were “lucky soldiers” and had been detained. The spokesman also stated that the two men were not protected by the Geneva treaties as prisoners of war.

In the Kremlin’s first comments to the two men, spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov said that they were involved in shelling and shooting at Russian forces and should be “responsable.” responsible for the crimes they have committed.” He said they were being held while their case was investigated.

The US State Department issued a statement calling on Moscow and authorities in Russia-occupied Ukraine to abide by international law. “We call on the Russian government – ​​as well as its proxies – to comply with their international obligations in the treatment of any individuals, including those arrested during the fighting in Ukraine. ,” said a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press office.

Family of men report them missing Last week, and on Saturday, the US State Department described them as “captured by Russian military forces in Ukraine”. Both are former US soldiers who volunteered to fight in Ukraine.

The two got into a fight with a small group of foreign soldiers and went missing when their platoon came under heavy fire in a village near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, about 25 kilometers from the Russian border.

Under the Geneva Conventions, prisoners of war must be treated humanely and protected from prosecution for participating in hostilities. The only exception is the prosecution of war crimes.

However, Peskov said the men were not part of the Ukrainian military and therefore were not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions for fighters. Mr.

The two men’s cases underscore the dangers facing thousands of foreign volunteers who have come to fight in Ukraine. Earlier this month, a court in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine Sentenced to death three foreign fighters, accused the men from England and Morocco of being mercenaries with the intent to carry out acts of terrorism. Legal experts said the trial and the draconian sentences that appeared were calculated as a warning to foreign volunteers not to take up arms against Russia.

On Saturday, the US State Department said it had reviewed online photos and videos of the two Americans, though it declined to comment on the authenticity of the images or on the man’s condition. he.

A spokesman for the US State Department said US officials were in contact with the boy’s family, Ukrainian authorities and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

On Friday, short videos purporting to show the two men were posted on YouTube, in which each said in Russian, “I oppose war.” It is unclear when the video was filmed or by whom.

Later, Russian state broadcaster RT said it had interviewed the men. The television station reported that the two men had surrendered to Russian troops and were in a detention center controlled by allied Russian forces.

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