Russia says US embassy has NOT had any communication with the White House over two captive Americans


Russian Ambassador to the US says the embassy has NOT had any communication with the White House over two Americans help captive by state-backed forces while fighting in Ukraine

  • Anatoly Antonov, the head of the diplomatic mission, made the assertion Tuesday while speaking to journalists from the state-owned agency TASS 
  • The statement from the ambassador contradicted claims from the State Department earlier in the day that officials had been in talks with the Kremlin
  • Alex Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, were captured in Ukraine on June 11 
  • The pair remain in the captivity of state-backed Russian fighters
  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the pair ought to be ‘punished’ 
  • He could not guarantee that they wouldn’t be sentenced to death like Brits Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin 
  • He added that since they weren’t in Ukraine fighting officially, they are not protected by the Geneva Convention 

Russia’s US Ambassador has declared its embassy has received no communications from the White House regarding two Americans being held captive for fighting in Ukraine.

Anatoly Antonov, the head of the diplomatic mission, made the assertion Tuesday while speaking to journalists from the state-owned Russian News Agency (TASS).

The statement from the ambassador contradicted claims from the US State Department made earlier in the day, that officials had been in talks with the Kremlin about the imprisoned Americans. 

Meanwhile, Moscow has said it can not guarantee the lives of Alex Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, who were captured by state-backed forces during fighting in Kharkiv on June 11. 

The men – who are being treated as mercenaries by the state – are believed to still be alive, and recently appeared in videos released to the internet by state-owned media.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, continues to insist that it is doing ‘everything’ possible to bring Drueke and Huynh home safely. 

Anatoly Antonov, the head of the diplomatic mission, made the assertion Tuesday while speaking to journalists from the state-owned Russian News Agency (TASS)

Anatoly Antonov, the head of the diplomatic mission, made the assertion Tuesday while speaking to journalists from the state-owned Russian News Agency (TASS)

Moscow has said it can not guarantee the lives of Alex Drueke (left) and Andy Huynh (right), who were captured by state-backed forces during fighting on June 11. This undated photo of the two was uploaded Thursday - a day before the state released a video of the pair

Moscow has said it can not guarantee the lives of Alex Drueke (left) and Andy Huynh (right), who were captured by state-backed forces during fighting on June 11. This undated photo of the two was uploaded Thursday – a day before the state released a video of the pair

Antonov, however, says otherwise – according to state media.

‘There were no requests to the embassy. I do not confirm receiving a request of this kind from the US side,’ the ambassador was quoted as saying by TASS.

‘The embassy did not contact us.’ 

Earlier in the day, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the White House had been ‘in touch’ with Moscow about the captives.  

‘We have been in touch with Russian authorities regarding U.S. citizens who may have been captured while fighting in Ukraine,’ Price told reporters around 2:30 pm ET.

He added that the agency had ‘also been in touch with our Ukrainian partners, with the ICRC, with other countries, as well as with the families of Americans who have been reported missing in Ukraine.

‘We have both publicly as well as privately called on the Russian Government and its proxies to live up to their international obligations in their treatment of all individuals, including those captured fighting in Ukraine,’ Price, 39, said. 

Alexander Drueke, 39

Andy Huynh, 27

Drueke, 39, left, and Andy Huynh, 27, appeared terrified in footage released by Russian forces where they identified themselves and denounced war. They men went missing last week after their platoon in Ukraine was ambushed by Russian soldiers 

‘We expect – and in fact, international law and the law of war expects and requires – that all those who have been captured on the battlefield be treated humanely and with respect and consistent with the laws of war.’

Later on in the address, however, Price said that the department had ‘not received any formal or official response’ from the Kremlin regarding the captured pair – who took up arms and flew to Ukraine to join the fight earlier in the year after being outraged over the invasion.   

‘We have been in contact with Russian authorities regarding the reports of detained Americans,’ Price said. ‘We have not received any formal or official response. 

‘The only response we’ve seen has been the response that Russian officials have made in public interviews.’

When contacted by DailyMail.com, a department spokesperson refused to comment on the matter further.

‘We have nothing to add beyond Ned’s remarks,’ the rep said.

Meanwhile, Russian officials say they can not guarantee that the men will make it out of the region alive. 

In an interview with NBC News Monday , Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the pair were not protected by the Geneva Convention – which outlaws taking prisoners of war – because they were not part of the official Ukrainian army. 

He pointed out that the actions of the Americans ‘must be investigated and they must be brought to justice.’ 

Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, told NBC News when asked if the two US citizens would be given the same death-by-firing-squad sentence that was handed down to British fighters Shaun Pinner, 48, and Aiden Aslin, 28

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told NBC News when asked if the two US citizens would be given the same death-by-firing-squad sentence that was handed down to British fighters Shaun Pinner, 48, and Aiden Aslin, 28

Peskov did not rule out the possibility that US citizens could be sentenced to capital punishment in the Donetsk People’s Republic. 

‘It depends on the investigation,’ Peskov said when asked if the two US citizens would be given the same death-by-firing-squad sentence that was handed down to British fighters Shaun Pinner, 48, and Aiden Aslin, 28,

‘Those guys on the battlefield were firing at our military guys. They were endangering their lives. There will be a court, and there will be a court decision. 

‘They should be punished,’ he said. 

Drueke served in the US Army in Iraq but Huynh has never been in active combat before.

His fiancée in Alabama said he traveled to the region to help after watching the war unfold from afar.

In the video issued by Russian state media, the men appear beaten and tired.

‘My name is Alexander Drueke, I am against war,’ Drueke said. He then reiterates in Russian, ‘Ya protiv voyny,’ meaning I am against war.

‘Ya protiv voyny,’ Huynh repeats after a quick cut.

Another video shows Drueke addressing his mother, Bunny, as he promises her that he will be back home.

‘Mom, I just wanted to let you know that I’m alive, and I hope to be back home as soon as I can,’ Drueke said. ‘Love you.’

Firefighters work at the site of fire after Russian shelling in Mykolaiv in Ukraine this weekend after the latest bombardment

Firefighters work at the site of fire after Russian shelling in Mykolaiv in Ukraine this weekend after the latest bombardment

On Monday, one of the men’s comrades in Ukraine spoke out anonymously to CBS to say he felt guilty for bringing them to the war zone.

‘They sort of followed me out here. 

‘We all agreed there was no leader in the group but I definitely feel a bit guilty, without a doubt.

‘We should have taken a closer look at more humanitarian options or training options.

‘If we did, then they wouldn’t be in the situation they’re in,’ he said. 

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