Two U.S. citizens captured in a Russian-occupied separatist region of Ukraine re-entered the free world on Wednesday as a negotiating effort by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the U.S. State Department.
Russian-controlled separatist forces in eastern Ukraine captured veterans Alexander Drucker, 39, and Andy Huang, 27, in June after they traveled to Ukraine as volunteer fighters against a Russian invasion, Reuters reportSaudi and Ukrainian officials announced a prisoner swap involving eight other foreign fighters and 200 Ukrainian soldiers after their families confirmed their release early Wednesday.
“The United States welcomes the negotiated exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia, including two U.S. citizens who were arrested while serving in the Ukrainian military,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said. Say In a statement after Ukraine’s official announcement. (Related: Russia thwarts Biden administration’s hopes of prisoner swap for detained WNBA star)
The ten foreign prisoners of war released include five British citizens, Swedes, Croats and Moroccans, according to To Supreme Zelensky Advisor Andrei Yermak.
“We also thank our Saudi partners for helping to spearhead this humanitarian initiative,” Blinken said, adding that the two Americans were greeted upon their arrival by a team from the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh.
Saudi Foreign Ministry Announce The success of the Saudi-led effort ‘based on’ priorities given by bin Salman and ‘derived from’ [bin Salman’s] Continue to engage with relevant countries. “
U.S. initially had no clue after Drueke and Huynh disappeared from squadrons in the Kharkiv region, CBS News reports reportRussian media later released a video depicting the couple, though the Kremlin denied that any Americans were captured in Russia.
An American who fought alongside the two in Ukraine told CBS that the group “knows that by going there to serve the Ukrainian government, there is little to no protection for us, and nothing the U.S. government can do.”
— واس الأخبار الملكية (@spagov) September 21, 2022
U.K. comfirmed The release of Aiden Aslin, a British prisoner who garnered widespread attention on social media Record His experience as a freewheeling soldier in Ukraine earlier Wednesday.Many fear that Aslin will not be able to return home after a court in the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic sentenced him and two other foreign fighters to death in June for acting as mercenaries on behalf of Ukraine, BBC report.
Prime Minister Liz Truss Say Development ‘very popular’ and ended ”months of uncertainty and pain [the British nationals] and their families. “
we thank @ZelenskyyUa, @AndriyYermak And the Ukrainian government included 2 U.S. citizens in a prisoner swap announced today. We thank the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the government for their convenience. We look forward to reuniting our citizens with their families.
— Jake Sullivan (@JakeSullivan46) September 21, 2022
On Tuesday, the leaders of four regions in eastern Ukraine, where many foreign prisoners of war are apparently detained, announced plans to hold a vote on joining the Russian Federation.
The Saudi embassy in the United States did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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