On Wednesday, officials and family members reported that two American volunteers in Ukraine have vanished and are believed to have been captured by Russia.
Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, are veterans of the United States Armed Forces who resided in Alabama before traveling to Ukraine to assist with war efforts. Relatives have contacted Senate and House offices to inquire about the whereabouts of the guys.
According to members of the state's congressional delegation, the pair has not been heard from in days.
Captive Americans would add another degree of complexity to US efforts, which are already complicated by the injection of billions of dollars into Ukraine while avoiding confrontation with Russia.
If true, they would be the first Americans known to have been detained fighting for Ukraine since the war began in February.
Terri Sewell, her local congresswoman, stated that Drueke's mother reached out earlier this week.
Sewell stated, "According to his family, they have not heard from Drueke in several days." We will continue to do everything we can to locate him and provide his family with answers.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House, could not confirm the disappearance of the two Americans but stated, "If it is true, we will do everything in our power to bring them home safely."
According to him, the United States discouraged Americans from visiting Ukraine, a country that has experienced a nearly four-month war with invading Russian forces.
It is a conflict zone, and it is a fight. And if you feel strongly about aiding Ukraine, there are several safer and equally effective alternatives," Kirby told reporters.
The Telegraph, which initially reported their disappearances, cited an anonymous comrade in arms who stated the two men were seized after encountering a more significant Russian force during a 9 June battle north of Kharkiv.
Lois Drueke, Drueke's mother, stated that her son told the family that he was instructing Ukrainian troops to handle American-made weapons.
"Alex felt very strongly that he had been trained to help the Ukrainians be strong and push Putin back," she told the Washington Post, referring to the Russian president.
Two British nationals have reportedly been murdered in the conflict, while two more face the death penalty after being seized and convicted of mercenary activity by a pro-Russian court.
Joe Biden offered an additional $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine on Wednesday but stated that US soldiers would not actively fight Russia, a fellow nuclear power.