Russia says the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to 2 Americans missing in Ukraine and won’t rule out killing them
Two Americans fighting for Ukraine are missing and appear to have been captured by Russian forces.
The Kremlin said the Geneva Convention, which protects prisoners of war, does not apply to them.
It claimed without evidence that the men were "soldiers of fortune" and said it wasn't ruling out the death penalty.
Russia said on Monday that the Geneva Convention does not apply to two Americans who were apparently captured when fighting for Ukraine, and that it wasn't ruling out giving them the death penalty.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov spoke to NBC News about Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, and Alexander Drueke, 39, both from Alabama, on Monday.
He said that the two men were being held so that they could be investigated, but said it did not know where they were detained or who was doing it.
Without giving evidence, Peskov also called the two men "soldiers of fortune" and said they had committed crimes.
NBC News journalist Keir Simmons then asked Peskov what crimes the two men had committed, because "under the Geneva Convention, fighting in a conflict is not something that you can be tried for."
The Geneva Convention protects prisoners of war from torture, from summary execution and from bring prosecuted for fighting in a war.
Peskov replied: "They are not in Ukrainian army. So they are not subject to Geneva Convention. They are not members of Ukrainian army."
Peskov also told journalists on Tuesday that the death penalty could not be ruled out for the two men, CNN reported.
Peskov also told CNN on Tuesday that he was not sure where the two men were being held.
"I don't know where they are being held and who is going to judge them. But the only thing that goes without saying is that they are going to be prosecuted and they will be able to stand in court," he said.
The Associated Press reported that the two men were in Ukraine, helping the country against Russia's invasion, and that they had not been heard from for a number of days.
Their families feared they had been captured, and were talking with Senate and House offices for help, the AP reported.
The US State Department said it was looking at reports that said Russian or Russia-backed separatist forces had captured at least two Americans in Ukraine.
Russian media released a video last week appearing to show the two men, though it was not clear where they were or who was holding them.
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