Alexander John-Robert Drook, 39, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Andy Toy Enkok Hein, 27, of Hartsella, Alabama, were interviewed by Russia’s RT Channel at a detention center known as the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Friday, according to a report released on RT.
On Friday, pro-Russian channels and social media released short video clips showing men being detained in an unknown location. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
A State Department spokesman told CNN on Friday that “photos and videos of these two American citizens are said to have been seized by Russian forces in Ukraine” and that “we are closely monitoring the situation.”
“We are in touch with the Ukrainian authorities, the International Committee of the Red Cross and their families,” they continued. “Due to privacy considerations, we have no opinion on these cases.”
Separately, a more than 50-minute edited video of an interview with pro-Russian Serbian nationalist YouTube channel Helmkostal Drook and Huin was released on Saturday.
In an interview, when a person says to Drook during a question, “Here in Donetsk,” you may be asked to reveal the location of their interview behind the camera.
He is also asked in the interview if he has any objections to how he has been treated since his capture, and reveals that he was assaulted.
CNN chooses not to broadcast videos of American prisoners because they show men forcing them to speak.
The location of Drook and Huin in custody is a potential development. The death penalty is banned in Russia, while Donetsk is using firing squads to hang convicts, Russian state media RIA Novosti reported.
The hope that any foreign fighters detained in Donetsk could be released if prisoners were transferred between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists seemed to have failed following the DPR’s self – proclaimed leader, Denise Bushlin, who said such exchanges were out of the question.
“The transfer of British men sentenced to death in the DPR is not under discussion and there is no reason to pardon them,” Bushillin told the Independent Russian intelligence newspaper Novaya Gazeta on Thursday.
The Donetsk People’s Republic did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the detention of Drook and Huin.
The ex-veteran describes the war
Speaking exclusively to CNN’s Sam Clay, the former U.S. soldier fighting with Ukrainian forces described the war he witnessed on June 9 when Huynh and Drueke were reportedly captured.
Asked to be identified by the code name “Pip”, the man said his team had been sent on a mission to carry out a full-scale Russian armor attack east of the city of Kharkiv.
Pip claims that Hoin and Drook shot and destroyed an RPG on a BMP – infantry vehicle – coming through the woods. But more than 100 Russian infantrymen began to advance and the group had to leave quickly as American fighters found themselves in a village they had previously thought was in Ukrainian hands.
When asked what happened to Huin and Truke, Pip said, “We suspect they were expelled by a T-72 tank fire or a mine explosion. It’s only a speculation, we do not know what really happened. It happened to them.”
“More than a hundred infantrymen were advancing in our positions. We fired T-72s at those who were 30, 40 meters away,” he said.
A photo of the two with their hands tied behind the back of a Russian truck was released on Thursday. The undated photo was posted by a Russian blogger in the Telegram on Thursday. CNN could not independently verify when the photo was taken.
Missing third American
George Heath, a family friend of Qurbasi’s, told CNN that Heesan Kim and other close friends last heard from Qurbasi between April 23 and 24. Qurbasi served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years, retiring in November 2021. Heath said he chose to volunteer with the Ukrainians in Ukraine, but initially did not imagine fighting at the forefront of the war.
“We do not know where they are, but I want to reiterate: Americans should not go to Ukraine now,” Biden told CNN’s MJ Lee at the White House.
CNN’s Sarah L. Zirkani, Miza-Lisa Ehlinger, Ellie Kaufman, Michael Conte, Jennifer Honsler, Kate Sullivan and Mick Grover contributed to the reporting.