Speed Reads

MIA

Families say 2 U.S. citizens who went to fight in eastern Ukraine are missing

Two U.S. citizens who went to Ukraine to fight against Russian troops are missing, and their families are worried that they have been captured.

Both men — 39-year-old Alexander Drueke of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and 27-year-old Andy Huynh of Hartselle, Alabama — were last in contact with relatives on June 8. "What we know officially at this point from the State Department is that Andy and Alex are missing," Huynh's fiancee, Joy Black, told Reuters on Wednesday. "We do not have confirmation for anything beyond that. Obviously the longer the search goes, the more we start to consider other scenarios."

Drueke and Huynh were both fighting in the Kharkiv area, and told their families on June 8 they would be offline for a few days. The men, concerned that their communications might get intercepted, did not share why. Drueke and Huynh met in Ukraine, and their families said they both traveled there to fight after seeing photos of Ukrainian civilians killed by Russian forces. "When Andy saw this footage coming out of Ukraine, he said he couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, was just consumed by the horror that these innocent civilians were going through," Black said.

If Drueke and Huynh, who both served in the U.S. military, have been captured, they would be the first known U.S. citizens taken as prisoners of war since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Reuters reports.