Russia's warning against detained Americans 'appalling', according to the US

Fighters of Ukraine's territorial defense unit that supports the regular army take part in an exercise near the town of Bucha on June 17, 2022. (AFP/Anatolii Stepanov)

Tuesday, the United States termed the Kremlin's suggestion that two Americans detained while fighting for Ukraine against the Russian incursion could be executed "appalling."

John Kirby, a White House spokesman, told reporters that it is abhorrent that a Russian official would even consider the death penalty for two American citizens in Ukraine after a Kremlin spokeswoman stated that the Geneva Conventions do not protect the two Americans on prisoners of war.

White House foreign policy spokesperson Kirby stated that the Kremlin's remarks were at the very least reckless.

"Whether they actually mean what they're saying here, and that this could be the outcome, and that they could impose the death penalty on two American soldiers who fought in Ukraine, or whether they just feel it's a responsible thing for a major power to do, to talk about doing this..., either one is equally alarming," he stated.

Since Russia's invasion in February, an unknown number of foreigners, including Americans, have joined the Ukrainian military forces and flocked to Ukraine.

Ukraine has developed a multinational legion of recruits with differing levels of prior military experience. There has been a continual flow of tales of individuals being murdered, captured, or reported missing after being sent to the front lines.

On Tuesday, the State Department announced that a second American had been killed, identifying the victim as 52-year-old Stephen Zabielski and issuing the nearly daily warning to the American people to stay away.

A State Department representative stated, "We reiterate that US citizens should not travel to Ukraine due to the active armed conflict and the targeting of US citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials."

Kirby stated, "If you want to help the people of Ukraine, there are a great number of alternatives to putting yourself in harm's way."

Mercenaries claim

The two detained Americans are former military personnel who were captured in the eastern region of Ukraine early this month.

Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh, formerly of Alabama, have been seen in films and photographs broadcast by the Russian state and social media. Still, President Joe Biden stated last week that he does not know where they are being detained.

By the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit execution, torture, and other ill-treatment of detainees, the State Department asserts that Russia must treat volunteers with the same decency as other prisoners of war.

However, in an interview with NBC News published on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that the Americans were mercenaries and should be "held accountable for the crimes they have committed" without regard to the Geneva Conventions.

Willy Joseph Cancel, a 22-year-old former Marine, was confirmed to be the first American killed fighting for Ukraine in late April.

The wife of a third missing American, a retired US Marines captain with 20 years of experience, told CNN that he was last heard from in late April.

Two British men and a Moroccan man caught during combat have been sentenced to death by Russian proxy authorities in the so-called Donetsk People's Republic, an area of eastern Ukraine under Moscow's domination.


Publish : 2022-06-22 08:06:00

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