Don't go to Ukraine, Biden says, as captured US fighters appear in Russian propaganda videos
Washington DC - President Joe Biden said there is currently no information on what has happened to the two American volunteers who went missing while fighting in Ukraine, although videos broadcast by Russian media suggest they have been captured.
Two army veterans who were fighting in Ukraine, identified as Alabama residents Alex Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, have not been heard from since last week, their families say.
"We don’t know where they are," Biden told reporters Friday as he headed home to Delaware for the weekend.
The president also repeated warnings against US citizens traveling to the war zone, regardless of how strongly they support Kyiv’s cause.
"I want to reiterate, Americans should not be going to Ukraine now."
Relatives are worried about whether they may have been killed, wounded, or captured in the raging conflict with Russian invaders.
Missing fighters "presumed to be prisoners of war"
The State Department said Thursday that there were reports of a third American citizen possibly missing while fighting in the country, but it did not release a name.
US officials have been in touch with the Ukrainian government as well as other nongovernmental organizations in the region as they monitor the situation, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
Alex Drueke’s mother, Lois, told CNN that "they are presumed to be prisoners of war, but that has not been confirmed."
Price said there has been no intelligence that the missing Americans are in Russian custody, but videos of both fighters have appeared in Russian media. In them, both Drueke and Huynh repeat Russian talking points and propaganda, such as denials that Ukrainian civilians have been and continue to be killed.
An unknown number of American citizens, mostly with military backgrounds, have traveled to Ukraine to join the country’s foreign legion and fight alongside Ukrainian soldiers there. Some are of Ukrainian heritage but many have been inspired by Ukraine’s fight for self-determination.
Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS & Telgram