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Two Americans were captured by Russian forces in Ukraine. They detail their time in prison at a ‘black site’

Alex Drueke, Andy Huynh, and Andy Huynh, were captured in Ukraine by Russians over the summer. They were later held for a month in a “black spot”, where they claimed they suffered daily torture and lived off spoiled bread and dirty drinking water.

Drueke stated that he thought at the time, “I am going death from this situation or they are going kill me.”

“We prayed for death. We wanted to die. Huynh said that they just wanted it to end.

The two U.S. veterans spoke together for the first time in a broadcast interview. They said that they didn’t know each other, despite being from the same country, when they met in Ukraine to offer their aid or train troops, they didn’t know each other.

“I didn’t go over there to fight. Drueke stated that he understood that this was a real possibility. Huynh and he shared a concern that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would succeed and spread throughout Europe.

“We could see that this could grow into something larger than we thought. We didn’t know how large this would get.” He said that it was better to stop it before it got too big. Drueke, 40 years old, has retired from the U.S. Army. He served two tours in Iraq during his 12 year career and was a platoon sergeant.

Huynh was a 27-year-old Marine who lived outside Huntsville with his girlfriend. He was driving deliveries and was going to school when he saw the invasion. He said that he was justified in registering to fight to stop “World War III.”

He said, “It felt wrong to just sit back and do nothing.” The invasion continued to gnaw at him for the next month until he was losing his sleep. “I couldn’t do nothing. “The situation in Ukraine was all that I could think about.”

Both men arrived in Ukraine early in April. Both men entered Ukraine through Poland separately and ended up serving in a unit of the foreign legion. Two months later, they were captured by the Ukrainian foreign legion. Both men denied that they could give details to Ukraine in order not to compromise its ongoing efforts. However, they claimed it happened during a drone reconnaissance mission which included scouting for intelligence. Drueke stated that “what could have gone wrong went wrong.”

He said that the men were confronted by a battalion and a fight broke out. After running through thick forests, they managed to escape capture for eight hours. They eventually claimed they were surrounded and ordered to kneel, with their hands bound and their bags over their heads. Drueke stated, “We were pretty darn certain they were going to execute them right there and then.”

Both men were taken to outposts and then placed in “black sites” where they were interrogated and beaten. They were forced to sit for hours blindfolded on their knees with their hands crossed across their necks. Drueke was forcibly broken his ribs.

Their families were what kept them going. Huynh and Drueke were engaged just days before they left. Drueke isn’t married but left behind extended family members and Diesel, his dog. They stated that their only objective while in prison was to protect the other person.

Drueke stated, “We were bonded forever.” “My mission was keep Andy alive and his was keep me alive. That was it.

They were held captive for 105 days before being released in September. Russians made propaganda videos and forced them to give interviews to journalists supporting Russia. They also required them to contact various government agencies in the U.S. including the State Department. Drueke was the spokesperson for the duo and was allowed to call his Tallahatchie family frequently. Drueke claimed that these calls were made under duress.

He said, “The men beating me were in that room with me.”

Their bodies were placed on top of each other while being transported. They were kept in solitary confinement in prison. They claimed that their captors were mistakenly convinced that they were spy spies. Huynh stated, “They wanted to believe we were something special.”

The men, along with their families, are now inseparable at home. They have bonded during their absence. They stated that they don’t regret their actions and would be open to returning to Ukraine to rebuild after the conflict is over. Drueke stated that he believes their capture opened channels for Ukraine to the Biden administration that hadn’t been open yet. He said, “I hope we had an effect.” Civilians are still being held in the same places they were held for three months.

Huynh stated that “we feel guilty about being traded” and that they are still there.

Although the Ukrainians will require continued humanitarian assistance for many years, they stated that they are confident that they will prevail over Russia.

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin underestimated their capabilities… They are very united as people. Drueke stated that they will not give up no matter what.”



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