A Russian public television channel broadcast videos on social networks on Friday of Americans who went to fight as volunteers with Ukrainian forces and have been missing for several days.
US President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday that he did not know the whereabouts of the two men – two former US soldiers whose relatives have not been heard from since last week – adding: “Americans should not go to Ukraine.”
The US State Department also reported information about the disappearance “in recent weeks” of a third US citizen.
On Friday evening, Russian journalist Roman Kosarev – who works with the Russian public television channel RT – posted a video of Mr. Dervik speaking in front of the camera via Telegram messages.
“Mom, I just want to tell you that I’m alive and I hope to get home as soon as possible,” said Alexander Drewic, dressed in a military uniform and seemingly sitting in an office.
“I love diesel for me, I love you,” he adds, closing his short video with a wink. According to American media, Diesel is his dog’s name.
The official Telegram channel of RT also broadcast a video of Mr. Huynh, in which he explains that he and Alexander Druik were “in combat with Russian forces” near Kharkiv (Eastern Ukraine).
Russian forces took control of our positions. We had to retreat,” Mr. Hoen adds. The two men allegedly surrendered to the Russian forces after hiding for several hours.
The two men were also filmed in other videos broadcast by RT, in which they said they were “against the war”, in hesitant Russian language.
The circumstances in which the two former soldiers spoke and who is holding them are unclear at this point.
On Saturday, a State Department spokesperson confirmed that he had seen photos and videos of US citizens “allegedly captured in Ukraine by Russian military forces”. “We are closely monitoring the situation,” he told AFP.
This week, relatives of the Americans responded in the media.
Drucky’s mother, Lewis, told CNN Thursday that her son went to Ukraine after discussing the matter with her for a month. “I want everyone to know. We don’t want one to come back without the other. They were best friends and we want everyone to remember that there is not just one person.”
Huynh’s fiancée, Joy Black, stated in the same interview that she had not heard from him since June 8. “He told me he loved me very much and that he would not be available for two or three days. They were trying not to worry me,” she said. “I just want to see him healthy and sound.”
Russian news agencies announced that two Britons and Moroccans captured in Ukraine, where they were fighting for Kyiv, were sentenced to death Thursday for mercenary charges by a judge of the separatist authorities in Donetsk.