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Ukraine-Russia War: Live Updates

Credit…Lewis Droke, via Reuters

Credit…Via Darla Black

Their families said on Wednesday that two American soldiers who had volunteered for the war in Ukraine had disappeared.

His family said in a statement that the man was Alex Darwick, 39, a former U.S. Army sergeant who had served two trips to Iraq. Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, a former Marine, said in a telephone interview that Darla Black, the mother of Joey Black, Huynh’s fiancée.

The State Department said Wednesday it was “aware of unconfirmed reports of the arrest of two American citizens in Ukraine.”

A State Department spokesman said: “We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities. “Due to privacy concerns, we have no further comment.”

According to a statement issued by Mr. Droke’s family, Mr. Droke and Mr. Hovein disappeared together when their platoon came under “heavy fire” on June 9. The statement continued: “Identification by foot and UAV did not find any signs of these two soldiers.”

Credit…Through Bonnie Droke

“It could mean they were hiding or it could mean they were arrested,” said Mr Darwick’s mother, Bonnie Droke. He added in an email that “intercepted communications” indicate that the two Americans may have been arrested, but have not been confirmed.

The two men, if arrested, would be the first Americans to be taken prisoner during the conflict.

Another member of the squad was informed of the search for the two missing Americans by the Darwick family on Monday, the family said in a statement.

“When Russia invaded Ukraine, Alex immediately told me that he wanted to use his skills to train Ukrainians in how to work with American weapons,” Ms Druek said. He is not married, has no children and has education and experience. “He felt it was his duty to help defend democracy wherever necessary.”

The statement described Mr. Darwick as an avid mountaineer who lived on a family farm in a village in western Alabama before the war, hoping to plan a “new adventure” by rescuing Mastiff and Diesel.

In a interview Speaking to WAAY-TV, an ABC affiliate in northern Alabama, Mr. Huynh, who was found living in a small town in the area, Hartselle, of Orange County, California, said he had decided to travel to Ukraine and fight after Seeing 18-year-olds fighting for their freedom.

“I know there is a possibility that I will die,” he said. “I am willing to give my life for what I think is right.”

Before leaving for Ukraine, Ms. Huynh said Mr. Huynh studied robotics at a local college where Joey also attended. He served in the Navy for four years and entered immediately after graduating from high school.

“Andy did not have an easy choice, he made the right choice,” Joey sobbed in a telephone interview. Andy did not go there for adventure. “He just wanted to help.”

Credit…Via Darla Black

Both the Black and Darwick families said they last heard from the men on June 8, when they each said they would be out of reach for several days.

“Alex’s family has become our family,” Ms. Black said. “If anyone understands how my daughter is feeling right now, she’s Alex’s mother, so we all feel connected.”

Hillary Baird, Seoul’s chief of staff, said a delegation from the Alabama Congress – consisting of Senators Richard Shelby and Tommy Tobruille, as well as representatives Terry Seoul and Robert Aderholt, representing the men’s constituencies, will coordinate with the State Department. A spokesman for the governor of Iowa added that the delegation also works with the FBI

Since the start of the war on February 24, an unknown number of foreigners have volunteered to help Ukraine in various ways, including hundreds of American veterans seeking to join the war. The State Department reiterated in a statement that American citizens should not travel to Ukraine.

There are no confirmed reports of American capture, and only one American was killed: Willie Joseph Consul Jr., 22, a former Kentucky Marine infantryman who was captured by Russian forces on April 24 or 25. Was killed. , Mr. Cancel’s uncle, Christopher Cancel, said on one page interview With the New York Times

There were Western governments and human rights groups Made a noise Last week, a Russian-occupied court in eastern Ukraine sentenced two Britons and a Moroccan man to death for mercenaries.

Dave Phillips The report helped


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