(DCWatchdog.com) – The dictatorship of Russian President Vladimir Putin is setting the stage for potentially executing by firing squad two American military veterans who fought for the freedom of Ukraine and the West after they were captured by the Russian invaders in an ambush earlier this month.
Putin’s top propaganda official, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman of the Kremlin, declared that Russia views the two American fighters as foreign mercenaries and that there is no way they could deserve “Prisoner of War” protection status under the international Geneva Convention.
His statement comes after earlier this month, two British military vets fighting for Ukraine and captured by the Russians were sentenced to death by firing squad in a sham trial in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, one of Moscow’s proxy statelets set up illegally on occupied Ukrainian territory in the Donbas region.
American volunteers, 39-year-old Alexander Drueke and 27-year-old Andy Huynh, were taken in captivity near the second-largest Ukrainian city, Kharkiv, on June 11, after a vastly superior Russian force ambushed their 10-men unit with heavy equipment. They were caught after managing to disable a Russian T-72 tank with hand grenades.
Drueke is a native of Hartselle, Alabama, and has seen military action in Iraq as a serviceman in the US Army. Huynh, a former US Marine, hadn’t been in active combat before coming to Ukraine’s aid in April.
“They are soldiers of fortune. They were involved in illegal activities on the territory of Ukraine. They were involved in firing at and shelling of our military personnel… It is clear that they have committed crimes. They are not in the Ukrainian army. They are not subject to the Geneva convention,” Putin’s top propaganda official told Keir Simmons of NBC News in an interview, denying the two Americans POW status and setting them for execution.
Meanwhile, the Russian foreign propaganda network RT posted a video on Telegram of Drueke after posting very short clips of each of the two men denouncing the war, likely under duress, with their faces showing traces of torture.
“Mom, I just want to let you know that I’m alive, and I hope to be back home as soon as I can be. So, love Diesel for me. Love you,” Drueke says in the new video.