The Kremlin does not know where the two American citizens are now, the representative of the Russian president claimed, after their families said that they have not returned from a mission in the Kharkiv region.
The death penalty cannot be ruled out to the two Americans Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peshkov said on Tuesday that he had been detained in Ukraine. U.S. citizens held captive while fighting in eastern Ukraine are subject to court rulings, he said.
“We can not rule out anything, because these are court decisions. We never comment on them and we have no right to interfere in court decisions,” said a Kremlin spokesman when asked if Americans could be tried on the ground. pro-Russian separatists and sentenced to death.
“We are talking about mercenaries who threatened the lives of our military personnel. And not only ours, but also the military personnel of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.”
The Kremlin does not know where the two American citizens are now, Peshkov also claimed that their families had told them that they had not returned from a mission in the Kharkiv region.
Yesterday, Monday, the Kremlin announced that they are mercenaries and are not covered by the Geneva Convention as they do not belong to regular troops and will face the consequences of their actions.
Earlier in the day, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported, citing an unnamed source, that the two Americans are now in the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine.
If this information is confirmed and 27-year-old Andy Huen and 39-year-old Alexander Druki – both from Alabama – are indeed in Donetsk, there will be fears that they may be charged in the territory of pro-Russian separatists.
Britain’s Sean Piner and Eden Ashlin and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun were sentenced to death by a Russian-backed Donetsk separatist earlier this month after being captured while fighting in the Ukrainian army.
Reuters was unable to confirm this Interfax information regarding the whereabouts of the two Americans. A spokeswoman for the pro-Russian Democratic Party of Donetsk declined to comment.
Although Russia does not carry out the death sentences, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, whose independence has only been recognized by Moscow, include the death penalty in their legislation.
Relatives of the two American citizens said they were not mercenaries and that they traveled to Ukraine in April as volunteers to help repel Russian forces.
The two men told relatives on June 8 that they were going on a mission and that they could not have contact with them for one or two days. Family members also said they later learned they were in the Kharkiv region, which borders Donetsk.
Alexander Drewki, Alexander’s mother, also said: “Alex did not go in the military. He went as a military man with military training.”
Russian media published photos and videos of the two American citizens last Friday. with the Russians talking about “mercenaries.”